Wednesday, November 26, 2008

five kernels of corn...

Yesterday I posted a bit about the first Thanksgiving in October 1621. There is, however, more to the story... there is the winter and the year that followed that first Thanksgiving.

It was a terrible winter, full of great hardship and deprivation. In November a shipload of additional colonists had arrived, but they had brought with them not a bit of equipment--no food, no clothing, no tools, no bedding. Suddenly there were far too many colonists and far too little food.

"...a sobering appraisal by Bradford, Brewster, and Winslow was taken, and a grim decision was reached: they would all have to go on half-rations through the winter, to ensure enough food to see them into the summer season..."*
“…What mattered to God was how the Pilgrims responded to [adversity]. And He was pleased with their response: they kept their eyes, for the most part, on Him. Thus, they did enter their own starving time that winter of 1621-22, and were ultimately reduced to a daily ration of five kernels of corn apiece. But as always, they had a choice: either to give in to bitterness and despair or to go deeper into Christ. They chose Christ. And in contrast to what happened at Jamestown, not one of them died of starvation. Then God had mercy on them, as He had so often in the past.”
* * * * *

It was not until almost two years later, in 1623, that the second Thanksgiving celebration took place. And at that feast, the first course that was served --on an empty plate in front of each person--were five kernels of corn...lest anyone should forget.

...At my friend's home at Thanksgiving dinner, in honor and remembrance of God's amazing provision, there are always five kernels of corn next to each plate...lest we should forget.

May we, like the Pilgrims in that starvation winter, CHOOSE CHRIST that we may please God with our response to both the difficulties and blessings of life. And, may we, like those Pilgrims, see God's mercy on us, in the past, in the present, and in the times to come.
quotes from "The Light and the Glory" by Peter Marshall and David Manuel


  1. Dearie, thank you for the ' first Thanksgiving ' post and this one, I have a better understanding of what it is about now. I'm rather shocked by the fact that the folks actually survived on 5 kernels a day during the awful winter!! I'm more than convinced that it was the Lord that helped them pull through. And I'm glad that the 5 kernels of corn still act as a rememberance today to assure us of God's grace and mercy.

    I hope that many will be encouraged admist such bad times...

  2. Okay, wow! Me again ... this nugget of truth is WOW! There are so many lessons and layers from that piece of HIStory to learn. I am copying that and taping it in my journal! Thank you!

  3. that was an amazing story.
    Thank you for sharing this :-) It's added to my knowledge and my faith, that my God is ABLE!


I'm so glad you've stopped by! I love hearing from you and can't wait to read your comments! Let me know what's on your mind and your heart today...