As truly an American holiday as Thanksgiving is, it was not actually made a formal federal holiday until 1941. And it wasn’t even routinely celebrated nationally on the fourth Thursday of every November until after President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Address in 1863. Still, the holiday does have a strong basis in our nation’s history—a history that is all too often left untold.
As described by Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford in his diary Of Plymouth Plantation, the first Pilgrim winters in America were tough. The colonists failed to produce adequate food and shelter, and as a result, many did not survive. But eventually the colony rebounded. The Pilgrims did build sufficient homes and did plant enough crops to feed the entire colony. So great was their bounty that they celebrated with a harvest feast that eventually became the Thanksgiving holiday that we celebrate today. But what was the key to the colony’s turnaround? What drove them from poverty to prosperity? The answer may surprise you.
Today, as families across America gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us give thanks to God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon us. But let us also not forget the Pilgrims’ lesson on private property that all too often is forgot in Washington, D.C.
Live in Gwinnett, GA next to Lake Lanier Islands. Married with four children. Pastored three churches over 18 years. Spent time serving as an Army Chaplain. Traveled in ministry to over 34 countries. B.A., M.A., M.Div., M.A.T.S., D.Min. BCC with NSC. Covering Georgia and upstate South Carolina