If Pilgrims could talk to us today, what do you think they would say?
With all the unrest and division in our country, do you think they would be deeply saddened? Do you think they would be disheartened to see what has happened to the ideals of faith they brought to this country?
The pilgrims fled the very religious tyranny which threatens us again today in this country. They sacrificed all and risked their lives in order to gain civil and religious liberty, not just for themselves, but for you and for me.
Many suffered dangers, setbacks and imprisonment before they even boarded the boat. Many did not survive the voyage or the first winter’s cold and hardships. But the ones who did survive sat down to give thanks to God for their newfound freedom as they feasted on the abundance of their new home – venison, cod and corn.
What do you think pilgrims would tell you if they sat at your Thanksgiving table? (click to tweet)
Perhaps one thing they would tell us about is a little-known historical monument that sits on an 11-acre hilltop in Plymouth, Massachusetts, which memorializes our forefathers’ ideals. Completed in 1888, it took 38 years to erect, and it contains a sort of blueprint for those ideals, the only ideals that have ever been successful.
But many Plymouth residents, like many of us, are unaware of its existence or take it for granted. I lived in Massachusetts for the first half of my life and never knew it existed, until 2012 when Kirk Cameron made a documentary about it titled, Monumental.
Formerly known as the Plymouth Monument, it is now called the National Monument to the Forefathers. This 81-foot tall solid granite tribute is the largest granite monument in the world.
An inscribed dedication reads, “National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.” (emphasis mine).
As described in the film, a brave statue of Faith prominently sits at the very top of the granite monument and faces northeast toward Plymouth England. In one hand he holds a Bible and the other points toward heaven, toward the God of the Bible, because that is where his faith and freedom come from. The pilgrims knew this was the only thing that could bring true liberty – faith in the one true God.
Under Faith is carved four figures – Morality, Law, Education and Liberty. These symbolize the pilgrims’ values, part of the recipe of what built America, the recipe that has brought more liberty than anywhere else in the world.
Some of the other figures symbolize evangelism which represents the need for the spiritually liberating Gospel; civil law and order which come from God’s laws; liberty, which is the fruit of obeying; education from the Word of God.
And these words that I command you
today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
There is so much more to this monument – it’s truly “monumental.” If you haven’t seen the documentary, what a wonderful Thanksgiving movie it would make for your family.
Perhaps it’s not so much what the pilgrims would tell us, but what we need to remember. May we never forget what made this nation so strong and so successful. May we embrace the Biblical values that blessed our country, and may we continue to pray for our great nation and its leaders. And May God bless America!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
(Revised and re-posted from Nov. 19, 2016)
What about you? Did you know about this monument, and have you had the privilege of visiting it? What do you think pilgrims would say today?
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