Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wednesday Weekly Devotional

By Pastor Sarah Winter

As we are beginning to prepare for Thanksgiving I have been reflecting on just how different this year is.  We all feel it – the uncertainty in life based on the continued spread of coronavirus, the unexpected changes in financial situations, the unwanted emotional stress of having to wrap our minds and hearts around dinners without the people that we hold so dear due to the recent gathering limitations – and we are all continuing to walk this path with faith and prayers for a brighter season in the future.

Through all of this I am reminded of a devotion that I read years ago called the “Five Kernels of Corn.”  Those of you from New England may be familiar with this tradition as it has become common over generations.   The practice involves beginning the Thanksgiving meal by placing five kernels of corn on a plate during prayer time as a reminder of the challenges that the Pilgrims faced upon arriving on the Mayflower. During the winter of 1620-1621 over half of the travelers died of sickness and hunger and the survivors were forced to ration their foods and rely on their faith in God’s providence until springtime when the sunshine and rains poured down from the sky and their harvests became more plentiful.

As a reminder of the faithful promises of God and to honor of the sacrifices and strength of those that came before, a tradition began of placing five kernels of corn on each person’s plate on Thanksgiving, along with a poem that included these lines:

“The first kernel reminded them of autumn beauty
  The second one the freedom that they heard dearly.
The third reminded of their love and care for each other
And the forth was for their dear friends like their Indian brother.
The fifth kernel reminded of God’s love and care for all…”

In this season of challenges and emotions, maybe we can begin our Thanksgiving meal with this same tradition – uniting us with all of those who have walked the path of Christ before us and all of our DeerGrove family across the miles.  

I pray that we can find inspiration in Paul’s words in Philippians 4:12-13:  “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”  

May we be grateful for the beauty of our surroundings, our freedom, our love for each other, our family and friends and the abounding love and grace of God who will always provide for and protect each and every one of us.