Pastor’s Message – November 2019
What are your five kernels of corn? This might sound like a strange question to ask in the month of November, but it is very relevant to the Christian life. The origin of my question goes back to the settlers who came from England to America in the early days, or prior to the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The first major group to come over to America from England were the Puritans or sometimes called Separatists or Pilgrims. Upon arrival in our land in 1620 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, a great hardship was experienced due to crop failure, illnesses acquired on the sea voyage, inadequate shelter and a very harsh winter. The food supply had to be rationed for the settlement to survive. Each day of the winter of the year 1621 every member of the settlement received five kernels of corn to eat. The Pilgrims were forced to live under very primitive conditions in order to survive. It is estimated that forty-five out of one hundred and two did not survive the tribulation of the first year due to disease and famine.
As the years progressed for the Pilgrims in New England, a tradition developed at harvest time meal, which we know as our Thanksgiving meal. The tradition involved setting five kernels of corn beside the dinner plates, as a reminder of the first year and the harshness experienced in 1621. It was the Puritans way of saying that even though there was a time of trial, God allowed the community to survive. Life in America continued for the early settlers from England by the hand of the providence of Almighty God.
The five kernels of corn represent the trials and tribulations of life and the miraculous way in which God provided faith, grace and mercy to see us through difficult times in life. What are the five kernels beside your plate this Thanksgiving meal? Could it be that God has seen you through a physical illness? Maybe God has comforted you in time of loss. Perhaps one kernel of corn has been a season of financial difficulty. Another kernel might be disappointments experienced in family life. Try to name five ways that God has provided for you and helped you through past tragedies and traumas. Thanksgiving to God is based upon God’s goodness to us all. Yes, even during problems, tribulations and trials we can see the goodness of our God. The Pilgrims saw God’s goodness; we can also.
“O, Give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.”
(Psalm 107:1 KJV)
Pastor Ken Chorle