In 1623, after a particularly harsh winter, Plymouth Governor William Bradford wrote that the people had existed daily on only a few kernels of corn. But by harvest time that year, God had providentially ended a severe drought and sent ships with both people and provisions.
That second Thanksgiving feast was truly a time when our forefathers corporately gave heartfelt thanks to God for His goodness and protection.
By the mid-1820s, those seeking to honor the Pilgrims had established a wonderful tradition of putting a few kernels of corn (many say it is 5 kernels) at each person’s place at the Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps some of you do that. I hope many more will after reading this.
The kernels can be powerful reminders. Let’s “mark” them.
- The first kernel reminds us of the sacrifices made by those who founded and established this country.
- The second kernel reminds us of God’s faithful provision to those early settlers and also to us today.
- The third kernel reminds us of the privilege that it is to live in America, the Shining City on a Hill, where we still enjoy incredible freedom and prosperity.
- The fourth kernel reminds us of family and friends and the laughter, love and support they give us.
- And, last, but far from least, the fifth kernel reminds us of the salvation that we have in Jesus Christ, Who is the Author of Liberty and Who makes life worth living.
Of all people, American Christians should be most grateful. We have a great and faithful God Who has privileged us to live in a country uniquely founded and marvelously blessed.
This Thanksgiving may we take time as we gather with family and friends to thank God for all that He has given us individually and nationally. What bounty has come from those few kernels of corn!