Thankful for Our Forebears

So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations. – Psalm 79:13

As Americans and as Christians, we have ancestors to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude, particularly on this Thanksgiving Day.

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To the Pilgrims, may we be thankful for their perseverance in finding and settling a land in which they could worship God as they chose, without fear of persecution, fines, or imprisonment.

May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: “Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice, and looked on their adversity, &c. Let them therefore praise the Lord, because He is good, and His mercies endure forever.” – William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation

To our brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone on before us, may we be grateful for their lives of faith. They serve to inspire us to live for God, and to connect us with all children in the family of God – past, present, and future.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. – James 5:10

I am thankful for my grandmother, whom I will always remember for the way she prayed – with a sweet, gentle voice, and loving, humble words, if God were seated beside her. Her example ever inspires me to inhabit the presence of God as she did.

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The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. – H. U. Westermayer

For which of your forebears are you especially thankful? I welcome your comments as always. Happy Thanksgiving!

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5 thoughts on “Thankful for Our Forebears”

  1. As a reader of history, I am thankful for the countless number of forebears who took great risks to spread the Christian faith into the frontier when this country was young. And a shout as well to my mother-in-law, from whom I learned much about establishing and maintaining a faith-filled house when Mary and I married. And my father, whose quiet strength I understand much better as years have passed; I look forward to our reunion in the paradise to come. Happy Thanksgiving to all — Mike

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