Church & Biblical History

Making Thanksgiving Real (Part 2)

Embarkation of the Pilgrims - Robert Walter Weir (1857)

Read Part 1.

In our quest to make Thanksgiving real, we left off by thinking about ways to ground our Thanksgiving in Scripture, following the example of the very Pilgrims who left this treasure as a heritage to our entire nation. The next challenge I would offer is to ground our Thanksgiving in history—primarily the history of these same Pilgrims.

Our American Thanksgiving dates back to the fall of 1621. Indeed, it represents a Christian ideal—a very Biblical ideal. Yet, it is also a remembrance of God’s providential working at the dawn of our country.

Recently, after I spoke to a church group about the Pilgrims, the pastor stood up and shared from his heart how much he believes this message to be desperately needed today, especially by our young people—and yet how little is known of it. He said that telling the Pilgrims’ story to many of our youth would be like speaking to them in a foreign language.

The account of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving is so incredible that if one were hearing it for the first time, he might believe it to be a fiction novel—a work of fantasy.

Do you know the history of the Pilgrims? Have you taught it to your family? This would be a wonderful time to read a book or article, or watch a video, on the Pilgrims. You might even consider making a little knowledge of the Pilgrims mandatory for anyone who wants to partake of the turkey at your bountiful Thanksgiving table!

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Three Reasons I Love October 31st

Door of the Theses Memorial at Schlosskirche in Lutherstadt, Wittenberg

October 31st is one of my favorite days of the year! The reason I take joy in it is not because I love visiting haunted houses, corn mazes or costume parties.

When I see a reference to the evil and horror that our culture celebrates on that day, I have to admit—it does draw me in. But not for the reasons one might expect. I do not relish the “fear of death,” or the “bondage” that accompanies it (Heb. 2:15).

Rather, such sights of horror serve to remind me that the significance of October 31st was transformed more than 500 years ago, in 1517, in a little eastern German city called Wittenberg. Monk, professor and priest Dr. Martin Luther did not post his 95 theses for the masses, but for those elite who would be visiting the Castle Church on All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, to view Elector Frederick’s relic collection. Soon enough, the theses were translated into German, and Luther had a new career—of which he had never dreamt—as a Reformer. His posting changed his own life—and the date of October 31st—forever, and gave rise to the evangelical movement which continues down to our time.

There is certainly lots to learn about October 31st! But why, specifically, do I love it? Here are three reasons that I would list.

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Archaeologists find evidence that ancient Egyptians, Arameans, Assyrians, Babylonians waged war against Israel and Judah

"The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found proof in 21 different archaeological sites. From the army of Hazael destroying ancient Israeli cities to the Edomites decimating parts of Southern Judah, the team found evidence of dozens of Biblical military events." - Relevant

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