“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” *– Psalm 95:2*
Jennie Augusta Brownscombe came from a family of immigrants. After settling in the United States, her father built a home in Pennsylvania where Jennie was born and raised. Her mother was a descendant of a passenger who came to America on the Mayflower.
Appreciating her heritage, Jennie became an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Mayflower Descendants, and other groups that celebrated American history. In particular, she was among a group of artists of the Colonial Revival Movement.
One of the iconic events in American history, particularly for immigrants like Jennie’s family, was the first Thanksgiving. In 1914, she turned her attention to that celebration, painting The First Thanksgiving, depicting the event that united the colonists with the Indigenous people.
The painting had some historical inaccuracies, but Jennie was more interested in the symbolism and inspiration of that event. We see pilgrims and natives joined together in prayer. Around the table are men and women, young and old – hearts filled with thanksgiving.
The symbolism of that first Thanksgiving is a continual reminder of principles that are still meaningful, like the importance of prayer and showing appreciation to God. We need to realize we owe everything to Him. After all, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). God calls us to share from the abundance He provides, help meet the needs of others, and have thankful hearts.
Write a prayer of thanks for the abundant blessings God’s given you.
Father, thank You for all You have given me. You have blessed me, so I can be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Today’s Bible Reading