It wasn’t until this year in my studies of the Protestant Reformation that I made the connection of the Reformation and the Separatists (later called Pilgrims). How interesting that Reformation Day took place prior to Thanksgiving Day… the order these events took place allows one day to lead into the next according to the history timeline.
There is just so much to learn from the Separatists/Pilgrims, and the Native Americans and God’s Providential Hand. This week our family, like many other families, is taking the time to focus on this treasured part of our American History.
Embarkation of the Pilgrims
These people experienced first hand what it was to go through persecution for their beliefs. They didn’t want out of the church (as being the body of Christ) but rather they wanted out of a church structure that was restrictive with and contrary to what they learned from Scripture, how they learned from Scripture and how to worship God… freely. By freely they meant according to how God instructs us in Scripture to worship Him and not by the traditions of men (the Church of England was caught up in the traditions of men).
The Pilgrims were not a legalistic people. They learned from studying Scripture (while being shepherded by Pastor John Robinson) how God wanted to be worshiped. Out of love and obedience to Him, they sought to be able to do that freely. I have learned that because they sought the Bible Principles about worship and Holy Days, they would have nothing to do with pagan rooted traditions.
“It seems too much for any mortal man to appoint, or make an anniversary memorial” for Christ, taught the Pilgrims’ pastor John Robinson.
(How the Christian faith came to *marry paganism*- as one pastor phrased it at an Easter service- is another topic I have been researching about.)
The Pilgrims’ love for God and hunger for the truth of His Word are something I have come to value so much. On many levels, they are an example to me of what it is to love and obey God. Did they go through so much… for us to become so far removed from what they learned and had lived out?
This year, our family has been learning a lot about how God wants to be worshiped. This Thanksgiving Day, we are thankful for the Pilgrims’ example and desire to worship God freely- according to His will.