It kinda happened like this: a group of English Christians, not weirdos, just regular people like you and your friends, were beginning to feel the weight of public disfavor and religious oppression. So they got together and decided to relocate to a newly-discovered, primitive place called America.
Getting there was rough–they spent over two months in cramped quarters, fighting through gut-wrenching seas and foul weather, but life in their new home was even rougher. Clueless about what kind of crops to grow, or how to hunt the local game, they spent the upcoming winter battling disease and starvation. Half of them didn’t make it. Imagine losing half or your friends and family in less than six months.
Then came the New Friends. They were scary, wearing feathers, animal-tooth necklaces, and suggestively rude clothing. But they were also helpful–life-savers, in fact–because they taught the settlers how to grow native foods like corn, as well as fish and hunt for meat.
Fall came, and with it their first abundant crop. The deer were rutting now too, making them much easier to hunt, and at this season the turkeys were running in flocks. And at last the settlers now knew how to harvest the food they required.
So they all got together, invited their native friends, and said, “Let’s have a big three-day bash. We’ve got plenty of food for the winter now, thanks to God who sent us these, our most generous and thoughtful friends.”
And they did it. And we’re still doing it. We gather friends and family together annually to thank God, not just helping us make it through the year, but for giving us new friends, teaching us new things, and for blessing us day by day.
To my precious family, my faithful old friends, and my exciting new ones, let me wish you the Happiest Thanksgiving ever.