Thankfulness

400 Years of Gratitude

The Mayflower Compact 1620 - Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

While we are not certain of the exact date, we do know that this year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth.1

In the fall of 1621, “the 53 surviving Pilgrims and Chief Massasoit with his 90 Indian braves”2 (of the Wampanoag Tribe) came together to mark the bounty of their harvest and to give praise to God for graciously preserving them and providing for them.

Pilgrim Edward Winslow—signer of the Mayflower Compact, three-time governor of Plymouth, the author of five books, and a most interesting man in his own right—shared the most detailed historical account of that blessed assembly in a work commonly referred to as Mourt’s Relation. In it, he revealed the following details:

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Always for All Things

By Rev. C. H. Spurgeon

Sermon No. 1094, delivered on Lord’s-Day morning, February 2, 1873, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20.

The position of our text in the Epistle is worthy of observation. It follows the precept with regard to sacred song in which Believers are bid to speak to themselves and one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord. If they cannot be always singing they are always to maintain the spirit of song. If they must, of necessity, desist at intervals from outward expressions of praise, they ought never to refrain from inwardly giving thanks. The Apostle, having touched upon the act of singing in public worship, here points out the essential part of it which lies not in classic music and thrilling harmonies, but in the melody of the heart. Thanksgiving is the soul of all acceptable singing.

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Turning Back to Say “Thanks”

By Karin Brown

One Leper’s Return

One day as Jesus was heading to Jerusalem, He was met at the edge of a village by ten lepers who were keeping their distance, as the Law of Moses required. Knowing Jesus’ reputation as a healer, they cried out to him to have compassion on their suffering.

No one in Jewish history had ever been healed of leprosy. The rabbis concluded that such a healing would surely be a sign of the Messiah. Strangely, Jesus told the ten men to go and show themselves to the priests, something you were to do when you were already healed, as you can read in Leviticus 14.

No doubt puzzled, they did what Jesus told them to and went on their way to Jerusalem. And as they went, they were healed! Can you imagine? A miraculous healing – instantaneous and complete – and the only recorded instance of Jesus healing multiple people at the same time! But more than that, for a leper, the relational healing that would follow as they could again be readmitted to the community that had shunned them for years.

One of them, a Samaritan, immediately turned back, and praised God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and gave thanks. Then Jesus asked in disappointment, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:11-19).

One. Only one. Only 10% turned around and said “thank you.” He said it with a loud voice – I love that part! He must have been overwhelmed with thanksgiving.

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Chuck Colson on Radical Gratitude

"...counting our blessings and conjuring an attitude of to-whom-it-may-concern gratitude, Pollyanna-style is not enough. What do we do when cancer strikes -- I have two children battling it right now [2005]-- or when loved ones die, when we find ourselves in the midst of brokenness and real suffering? That . . . is where gratitude gets radical." - Breakpoint

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