Acts 21:4-6 (HCSB)
4 So we found some disciples and stayed there seven days. They said to Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem.5 When our days there were over, we left to continue our journey, while all of them, with their wives and children, escorted us out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach to pray,6 we said good-bye to one another. Then we boarded the ship, and they returned home.
Kneeling on the beach in prayer before heading to sea reminds me of other believers on a dangerous mission. I’m thinking of the Pilgrims – those hardy pioneers of the faith who laid the cornerstone of our nation. Though so-called historians attempt to whitewash them from our history…or at least to scrub the Christianity from their motivations, these men and women who sacrificed all cannot be separated from their faith. That’s why they came.
And Thanksgiving will always be about thanking God for his providence, Jesus for his salvation, and the Spirit for his direction. And so, I leave you today with the Mayflower Compact – one of the great documents of our nation. It is a great document of faith, too.
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.