Thanksgiving is upon us and thoughts of Pilgrims, turkeys and the obligatory assortment of pies comes to mind for most of us. Thanksgiving was first proclaimed by President Washington in 1789; this holiday has come to ring in the season of buying, ushering in Black Friday for our consumer-driven society.
It seems the holiday season is becoming more centered around our obsession with material possessions than on the actual underlying foundation they were founded on.
Imagine for a moment what the reality was for those men and women who braved the North Atlantic in autumn. Embarking on September 6th from Plymouth, England, 102 passengers and around 30 crew members set sail for the unknown. After 66 days enduring treacherous seas, blistering winds and overcrowded spaces, they spotted land. The original plan was to land in newly-founded Virginia, however, history (and the winter storms) had a different idea. Seeing they were north of their target, the crew tried to adjust their landing site but rough seas nearly crippled their weary vessel, so the decision to take what God had given them was agreed to, and they settled on present-day Cape Cod.
On November 11th, they dropped anchor near what is now Provincetown. Before unloading, these “Saints” and “Strangers” decided to draft an agreement or compact, to set up some legal order among themselves in this uncharted and untamed land, the Mayflower Compact.