Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Our Thanksgiving Prayer

We Hold These Truths’ Advisors thank God for encouraging us through His people. We, like the Pilgrims in 1621, are still here, and we are still able to focus on our dream and purpose.

Many of you, in your way, have been a part of our efforts with your own work and prayers. We are now in our 10th year of organizing exposure of the roots of the Christian-Zionist problem, as we foresaw when we started. Now many see it from various prospective, we are no longer alone, but in many ways we are still in the lead.

We are particularly grateful to those who have answered our call to stand with us at one or more of our now over 60 vigils at churches and organizations that included the Southern Baptist Convention, Promise keepers and John Hagee’s “Night to Honor Israel” in four different cities. As our friend Mark, who experienced his first vigil, told me after challenging Hagee’s Cornerstone church at our San Antonio vigil, “this is the deep end of the pool.” Mark is right, and he and you are brave; it is not easy, but it works because it honors God.

Thanks also to our contributors and especially the sacrificial widow’s might friends, who cannot afford it but do it anyway. And thanks to everyone who has bought a book or tape. Our limitations are financing and volunteers. We can do much more.

To me Thanksgiving is America's most honorable custom. In its true context it dates back to 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Those still alive on that day in November offered grateful thanks to God for the gifts only He could give them. They honored God’s promise to love them if they honored him, not just about a free land or a first harvest, but in an eternal peace when life is gone.

I looked at a painting of the earlier Jamestown colony, and I was surprised to see only men in the picture. It was a businessman’s colony, a commercial endeavor. But not so with the Pilgrims at Plymouth, they had the courage to bring wives and numerous children on the Mayflower, sailing in the dead of winter. A good number of them were buried at sea. Only 41 (men only) signed the Mayflower Compact just before they left the ship. But don’t forget the women were there, and that is why Plymouth is so special!

The issue for the Pilgrims was religious freedom, not commerce. They came to the North American wilderness from Europe, bringing nothing with them but dreams of escaping persecution in their former land.

In their Christian practices they were different from some of us, but basically it was the same faith in Jesus Christ, believing that if they sacrificed life itself it was not the greatest loss, believing that God could be trusted to provide an afterlife better than a frozen and hungry Plymouth existence. Their belief in God’s grace is the unique reason they took the risk.

In observing the 1621 Thanksgiving it should be noticed the Pilgrims had very little physically to celebrate. Their first year was a bum crop; they faced six months of winter with not nearly enough to survive. These few appeared have almost nothing to give thanks for, except that they were still alive.

The first feast day was a very humble one, and depended upon the goodwill the settlers had earned from the native Indians because, it seems, they acting in a Christ-like way toward the Indians.

Some who prayed those prayers of thanks did not survive the long winter to follow. They honored God for what little they had, counted on Him to bless their dream of a land where they could raise their children and reckoning that life is God’s great gift and life after death is his great promise.

Let us keep that faith and celebrate God’s gift of life, and let us show a will to spend that gift in a way that honors him, if need be, as the Pilgrims did.

My best on Thanksgiving,
Chuck Carlson

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's a good comic about the first thanksgiving.