Mick Rankin for NC House
Thanksgiving is a holiday we associate with the Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrating a bountiful harvest and sharing their yield. The feast is the heart of the actual dinner celebration, but to understand the significance we must understand how they got there. This year will mark 400 years since the Pilgrims fateful landing in Plymouth. They ventured into the unknown, leaving an oppressive homeland, to find freedom to practice their religion.
With the ship barely 100 feet long and the entire passengers and crew consisting of about 130 people, it was a crowded vessel. Spending 66 days at sea, the last half in the rough Atlantic fall storm season, they finally reached Cape Cod on the 19th of November.
After several failed attempts to find a suitable colony site they stayed on the MAYFLOWER until spring. With help from the local Native Americans they were able to find corn and beans under the snow giving them hope of raising crops in the spring. It was this help and later assistance in planting, managing the crops, and foraging for other foodstuffs that helped them survive.
The single element of the Pilgrim’s ability to survive and prosper was their faith and divine guidance. Their constant declaration of faith inspired their colony to keep working and move forward. Their Christian value of loving their neighbor allowed them to embrace the Native Americans, their humility to accept the help offered, and their sincerity to extend the hospitality to share in the bountiful harvest.
As we sit down to our abundant tables, let us humbly extend our own faith values and sincerity to our neighbors and exemplify the Pilgrim spirit.