Sermon Illustrations

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING

Let's consider the first Thanksgiving in America. It was in the fall of 1621, one year after the Pilgrim’s landed. There was great affliction in their voyage. 102 Pilgrims the left Holland, stopped briefly in England before sailing to America. They were at sea for 66 days. There were fierce Atlantic storms, so severe that at the half-way point, the sailors debated whether or not to turn back to England. Their accommodations were very limited, with all 102 Pilgrims below deck in the ship’s hold which was smaller than a volleyball court! With the hatches closed to keep out the beating ocean, the air grew Foul, making their sea-sick condition even worse. There were no fires, and little water. Two Pilgrims did not survive the journey, and two were born during the journey.

When they landed in Massachusetts, they had no place to go. There were no villages. No stores. No one to welcome them. No way to restock their ship. They lived on and off the ship, surviving basically on the ships provision through the first winter. They built one make-shift building, and lived in fear of the Natives who were not known. They were supposed to land somewhere north of current NYC on the Hudson river, but strong winds kept them from getting there. 47 of the 102 pilgrims died during the first winter!

Govenor William Bradford wrote concerning their faith, “God gave them health and strength in a good measure; and shewed them by experience ye truth of yt word, Deut. 8. 3. Yt man liveth not by bread only, but by every word yt proceedeth out of ye mouth of ye Lord doth a man live.

(Bradford, William (2011-03-17). Bradford’s History of ’Plimoth Plantation’ From the Original Manuscript. With a Report of the Proceedings Incident to the Return of the Manuscript to Massachusetts (p. 133). Kindle Edition.)

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