You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
— Matthew 5:14
Thanksgiving is an annual reminder of America’s Christian roots. It goes back to the Pilgrims, who gave thanks to God. Were they thankful for the abundance of their crops? No. There was no abundance. The average meal that winter consisted of five hard kernels of corn on the plate. Period. Just about 50 percent of all of the Pilgrims died in that first winter of 1621.
They had landed in early December of 1620, and it was the fall of 1621. Half of them are gone. There was virtually not a family left who had not lost a husband or a wife or a child. They had little food. Many were still sick. But they were men and women of the Book. They believed the Word of God.
There is nothing Americans cherish more than their freedom; and the origins of that freedom can be traced directly back to the Pilgrims. Religious freedom (the right of a people to own and read the Bible, to worship according to conscience, to form their own church); political freedom (the right of a people to frame their own constitution and form their own government); even economic freedom (the right to own one’s own property and keep the fruit of one’s labors)—all these freedoms in America began with the Pilgrims.