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|Posted on November 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM||comments (1)|
“On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; ... “(Josh 5:10-12).
The first Passover celebrated when Israel entered the Promised Land was a Thanksgiving week to God for His faithfulness to them. The Passover initially was a kind of covering or substitution that God required of them so that He would pass over every first born of the Israelites and their cattle. The final miracle God performed in Egypt was the death of all the first born of both men and animals: Exodus 12: 13 reads, “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” This was the origin of the Passover. God ordered that they are to celebrate this historic deliverance at a given time yearly.
As you may know, the Community Outreach of Boynton Beach celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Thursday before the Thanksgiving Day. We thank our partners and friends who had generously provided over 200 baskets and 100 gift cards for $10 each for a turkey. We pray that you will enjoy your Thanksgiving next week Thursday (November 22, 2012). Thanksgiving celebration as a whole reminds me about the first Passover celebrated when Israel reached and began to possess the Promised Land. One may ask, “What does the United States Thanksgiving Day have to do with the Hebrews’ Passover?” Because both have lots in common:
First, the Israelites were in slavery in Egypt. They were suppressed by their slave masters. A slave is considered a property for his master. As you may know, a slave’s will is dominated by his master and therefore cannot exercise his will or right. The true Christians that were in England were in religious slavery. While the Puritans and other Christians were combating what they termed Roman Catholicism as heresy, England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and created a new church called the Church of England or Anglican Church in the 1500s. A new law was also enacted that required everyone in England have to belong to the Church of England. Anyone who did not conform to the law would face the full weight of the law. I believe this was the reenactment of the slavery in Egypt. It was a time of severe sufferings for the Christians who opposed this law. Their freewill was ceased by the new law, and the Christian community prayed and fought for their freedom. Like Moses, God raised up William Bradford, and many others, who became leaders of the Separatists. They moved to Holland for some times; finally, they left Holland and came to this land of Liberty. Their objective was to start a settlement of their own so that they could practice their religion freely. Other groups left England and followed Bradford in search for a land of liberty. Hence, the Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower (with 102 pilgrims and thirty sailors) in September 1620 toward Virginia. Additional group immigrated to America on the Fortune (1621), the Anne and the Little James (1623) and the second Mayflower (1629).
The first group (1620), headed by William Bradford, had a long and difficult journey across the Atlantic Ocean for sixty-six days. A storm blew them off course, so instead of landing in Virginia, they landed farther north in Cape Cod. This also paralleled with the Children of Israel; they also had a difficult trip because of their disobedience to God’s will. Instead of the three-day journey, they were in the desert for forty years! The Pilgrims and Israelites went to a land wherein they could wholeheartedly serve the God of heaven. The major difference between them was, for the Israelites, God gave them their constitution while the Pilgrims wrote their own constitution.
Second, through the providence of God, both possessed the land: Joshua conquered all the kings of Canaan through warfare. The book of Joshua gives details of the how the Promised Land was conquered. In the same way, those who left the suppressive regime of the King of England went through several warfares and finally possessed this land of Liberty.
The truth is freedom is really not free because it cause the lives of many. Christians believe that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Christian faith. We can also conclude that the blood of those who died for this great nation, in building it to this day, is the seed of the American democracy. To be continued.
Happy Thanksgiving to you from all of us at AICM.
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