Friday, November 18, 2005

So Far From Want

Edward Winslow was actually at the first Thanksgiving meal with somewhere around fifty other colonists and ninety Wampanoag Indians. His account is the only extant firsthand account of that meal:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

A great harvest, more fowl than before, plenty of venison from Massasoit’s men - enough to prompt Winslow to write in his journal that he apparently was sending to England that “we are so far from want that we often wish your partakers of our plenty.”

We are so far from want. God has chosen us to be holy and blameless; he predestined us to be adopted as his children; we have redemption through the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of sins; we are lavished with the riches of God’s grace; we have the Holy Spirit within us who guarantees our inheritance (Eph 1:3-9). “For this reason… I have not stopped giving thanks.”

Who have you thought about recently to whom you should say in regard to the spiritual blessings you have, “I often wish that you were a partaker of our plenty”? Maybe since Thanksgiving is an official holiday and you’ve got some time, the time is here to write that letter or make that visit.

Give thanks, and then give what you have to others.

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