Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. -1 Peter 2:11 (ESV)
I was watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special with my son, and he asked what pilgrims are. (He also asked if they could be found at Pilgrim’s Cleaners, a dry-cleaning place, and I said not likely.) I told him that pilgrims are travelers, and that sometimes the term refers to those who travel for religious reasons.
I explained to him that the Pilgrims that Thanksgiving here in the United States refers to are people who wanted to get away from a king who didn’t let them worship God in the way they believed was correct. (I look forward to relearning about the persecution of the English Separatist movement when he gets older.) I also explained to him that we, too, are pilgrims, traveling through this world until we go to heaven.
I tied it all together to tell him that we give thanks to God all day, every day, in all things. Thanksgiving Day is a day of thanks that memorializes the autumn feast of the pilgrims with the Native Americans in 1621, but is also a great reminder for us to recount everything and everyone we’re thankful for as we continue on our travels.
Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Long Way Home” encourages us that the bumps and trials, detours and ways we take in life are not the wrong way, just the long way home.
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