I read this interesting little piece by Alex Gondola Jr. and thought I’d share this seeing that Thanksgiving is upon us:
The Pilgrims had the courage to act on their commitments, no matter what.
Sociologist Robert Bellah, author of Habits of the Heart, is impressed by the power of religion. He once said, “We should not underestimate the significance of the small group of people who have a new vision of a just and gentle world. The quality of a culture may be changed when two percent of its people have a new vision (and act on it).”
Christians make up far more than two percent of our town, far more than two percent of Massachusetts, far more than two percent of Americans. So, why don’t we have a greater effect: on issues of the environment, on justice for the needy, on the quality of life on Cape Cod? Could it be we need more courage to act on our commitments? To be a Pilgrim means to stand up for what you believe, no matter what.
To be a Pilgrim also means sharing what you have, and turning thanks into giving. The Pilgrim colonists willingly shared all they had. During their first three years, all property was held in common. At one point, they were down to five kernels of corn per day for food. Still, they divided the corn kernels up equally. And, the original group of fifty that survived the first winter shared their limited food with the sixty newcomers who arrived in the spring.
One of their finest moments came in 1623, at the first real Thanksgiving. The small colony hosted over ninety Native American braves for three days. There was eating and drinking, wrestling, footraces, and gun and arrow-shooting competitions. It was the Pilgrims’ way of saying “Thank you” to God, and to the Native Americans who had helped them survive. To be a Pilgrim means sharing and turning thanks into giving. How thankful and giving are we?