Who were the Pilgrims from 400 years ago? What brought them to this new land of the unknown? But why did they come? For the gold or God? Was their motive significant? Did they leave a positive legacy that could inspire us today?
The pilgrims were believing Christians who separated from the State Church of England in the late 16th century and early 17th century in order to form a church by covenant according to the biblical model as they saw in the Scriptures. As William Bradford said “they shook off this yoke of antichristian bondage, and as the Lords free people joined themselves (by a covenant of the Lord) into a church estate, in the fellowship of the gospel, to walk in all his ways made known, or to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavors, whatsoever it should cost them.) The Pilgrim story is one of trust in God’s providence and sovereignty that He knows best.
So why honor this small remnant church group? They were never wealthy, numerous, or filled with elite leaders. However, the ideas brought on that boat that landed in December of 1620 in Plymouth harbor have stood the test of time as foundation stones for our nation.
It was their faith that inspired them to come as a church, and it was their faith that brought them as families. It was also their faith that led them to practice a commonwealth of self government under the rule of law that became the cornerstone of our Republic. It was their faith that produced private enterprise. They left what they knew, friends, loved ones and sailed for over 2 months to get to this new land. And it was their faith that inspired them to stay when the Mayflower returned home five months later in April of 1621. What faith they must have had to watch the ship sail away.
Dear Lord, help me – every single morning – to find faith in the midst of the chaos. Give me the desire and ability to see You, hear You, talk to You, and give thanks to You. And as I do, I pray that I will draw nearer and nearer to You, and that my faith will multiply exponentially as I understand in new, deeper ways that You are everything I ever hoped You would be. And so much more. Amen. ~ Kelly O’Dell Stanley
Mark 10:52 “Go, said Jesus, your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.