Happy Thanksgiving Day

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William Brewster and other believers who believed differently from the Church of England broke away from the Church in 1606. They came to be called Separatists. England’s monarch King James and his government persecuted them. In 1608 Brewster led a group of Separatists to The Netherlands to escape the persecution. It is possible that they heard Adrianus Valerius’ hymn, “Wilt Heden Nu Treden,” (We Gather Together) while they lived in The Netherlands.

Three years after the Separatists fled to The Netherlands, the Bible translation that King James had authorized was published. We know it today as the King James Bible.

When the Separatists realized that the Dutch society around them was influencing their children, some of them decided to form a new colony in North America. William Brewster was among those who decided to emigrate. Another was William Bradford. Bradford was the first person to call the Separatists “Pilgrims.” The Pilgrims arrived in North America in 1620 and established Plymouth, spelled Plimoth in William Bradford’s History of Plimoth Plantation. The Pilgrims elected Bradford to serve as their governor thirty times.

Of course, we know that our holiday of Thanksgiving Day dates back to the harvest feast of Thanksgiving those Pilgrims celebrated in Plymouth.

Psalm 100 has often been associated with Thanksgiving Day. It is quoted below in the words of the King James translation of the Bible.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God:
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

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Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,

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and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 100

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