Pausing to Give Thanks in Sunday School at Thanksgiving

Wednesday 21st November, 2007

We have much for which to give thanks to God. By Himself, He is reason enough. Add together what He has done for us in sending His Son to die for us, and we could spend the rest of our lives in giving thanks and not exhaust the subject.

But there are so many other blessings for which we need to pause and give appropriate thanks to our God as well. From blessings of health to jobs to food to eat. From homes to live in to time to play and worship. On top of all of that, we should stop to give God thanks for freedom, for a country in which we can enjoy all of these things!

I read a blog post yesterday that reminded me of how far we have come. It was written by an elementary school history teacher. It is entitled Taking Time to Give Thanks. Here is the exerpt:

There’s so much more to the story…..

The Pilgrims did have a hard time worshipping the way they wanted to in England. Back in the day there was only one church in England and one way of worship. If you didn’t agree you could be made to feel very uncomfortable and ran the risk of being charged with treason since the monarchy was the official head of the Church of England....

So, the Pilgrims did not set off for the New World, but went to Holland where they remained for several years. When they couldn’t obtain the necessary papers to leave their home country they resorted to any means necessary including bribery to book passage. Two attempts to leave England were thwarted and several ended up in jail for a time. Eventually it was only a small group of 150 or so that ended up in Holland. They were happy for awhile, but eventually there were problems.... In order to keep their own culture intact they knew they must go somewhere where they could be “unto themselves.”

In September, 1620 the Pilgrims set out for the New World. Procuring the right paperwork and obtaining needed investors was not easy. The investors, of course, were looking for a profit and over the many months would express their displeasure at the lack of progress the Pilgrims would make in the New World. Their original destination was not as far north as present day Massachusetts.... A terrible storm ended up blowing the Mayflower off course and this is how they came to land at Plimouth (Old English spelling) in November, 1620.

Plimouth was not an ideal place for a colony and the timing of the Pilgrim’s landing was not ideal either. By December, many of the Pilgrims were sick with scurvy and other ailments. Snow had begun to fall and needed crops had not been planted. What resulted was a period of time the Pilgrims described as the Starving Time...because that is what many of the Pilgrims did. During the first winter approximately half of the Pilgrims died.

The survivors along with their Native American friend, Squanto, eventually developed the settlement we refer to as Plimoth and by November 1621, after their first harvest, they did indeed have much to be thankful for.

Looking towards our own Thanksgiving, what do you have to be thankful for?

Let me challenge you this year to take time to do more than celebrate and eat. Take time to list your reasons to be thankful out loud to God! Be thankful! Be revolutionary!

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