Faith and Family

Lynn Jones: Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for important things

By Lynn Jones

One year my wife Danielle was talking to the students in the library at Anderson Elementary in Booneville about Thanksgiving. She mentioned the Pilgrims and asked if anyone knew the name of the ship on which they came to America. One little boy raised his hand and said excitedly, “I know, I know.” Danielle said, “Okay, tell us the name of the ship.” He said, “They came over on the ‘Cauliflower’.”

Lynn Jones

Well, that’s close. Actually, they came over on the “Mayflower”. There were 102 passengers on board, as well as a crew of about 25. They left on September 16, 1620, and arrived on November 21, 1620. They had intended to arrive at the mouth of the Hudson River, but they went off course and dropped anchor inside Cape Cod Bay.

The people on board the ship were primarily Puritans. They got their name from the fact that they desired to “purify” the Church of England. They ran into great opposition led by the Church of England and the English government, however, and in a quest for greater religious liberty, they made the long and hazardous voyage to the new world.

Upon arriving in Cape Cod, they remained with the ship until the following spring. They went ashore then, and the “Mayflower” left for England on March 28, 1621. The Pilgrims began carving out a new life in this new world. Even though they had endured many hardships and losses, one of the first things that they did was to declare a day of thanksgiving. We are indebted to these pilgrim people who modeled thanksgiving. They found reasons for thanksgiving, and so should we.

When you are at a circus, there is a ring announcer who is always calling things to your attention, which are important. “Ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to the center ring. Here is something you don’t want to miss.”

Or, at a track and field meet, the announcer may say, “Ladies and gentlemen, direct your attention to the high jump area where the contestant is going for a new meet record high.”

But in life there is no one doing that. No one is pointing out things of great value. No one is calling attention to them. If you are going to see the great things which are in your life, you must have spiritual sensitivity.

At this Thanksgiving season, we need to let the Spirit of the living Lord direct our attention to all the great things in our lives. And once we have seen them, we need to declare it a season of thanksgiving.

I am grateful that the ship on which the Pilgrims came was named the “Mayflower”, not the “Cauliflower”. I never have cared much for cauliflower, but I love the “Mayflower” and all that it reminds us of at this season of the year.

Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at:

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