Happy Thanksgiving, Rockland!
Have you ever heard of a man named Edward Winslow, one of the "unsung heroes" of Thanksgiving Day?
It is fascinating how influential this man has been, yet no one seems to know much about him.
He was the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 11th governor of Plymouth Colony in addition to being chosen by the people in the early Plymouth settlement as their first liaison to London. According to the Smithsonian:
In 1702, "Cotton Mather (a prominent Boston theologian in his day) referred to Winslow as 'Hercules' for his strength and fortitude in dealing with multiple challenges facing the Plymouth settlement and later, New England as a whole."
But perhaps most importantly about Edward Winslow, is that most of what we know about the first Thanksgiving was taken from one letter that he wrote.
In December of 1621, he wrote a letter to his friend in England:
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 fruits 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 amongst other Recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst 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 on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others."
–Edward Winslow, December 1621
Believe it or not, most of what we think about Thanksgiving and most of our traditions around it comes from this letter that was built on over the decades.
But I left out one line of the letter, perhaps the most important one. He closed the letter by saying:
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.
He admits that they do not have much, but they are content and are eager to share. They count their basic needs, and the goodness of God, as 'plenty'. That reminds me of an apostle I know...
The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance, and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Edward Winslow and Paul knew that being content has nothing to do with getting enough, but by being content with what you have. The Lord is our portion and all we need.
If your table is full this year with friends, family, and food, be grateful to God: He is with you.
If your table isn't quite as full as it has been in the past with people and food, still be grateful to God: He is with you, too.
Be blessed today.
See you Sunday (as we kick off ADVENT!)
Advent starts this week!!!!!
The Sanctuary and exterior of the building is decked out and we are ready to bring in the Christmas season!
There are 3 services that will have identical music and order of worship:
8:00 AM - wearing masks the entire time, no kids or students programming
9:30 AM - Kids Sunday School available
11:00 AM - Kids and Student Sunday School available
CLICK HERE TO LET US KNOW YOU ARE COMING!