April Showers and Mayflowers

April showers bring May flowers, and what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims, of course! I know, it's a bad joke and a tired pun, but it's still funny (or at least it is to me; then again, I have a notoriously warped sense of humor). The Pilgrims probably fit better in a blog in November, but I'm going to talk about them today instead.

Officially known as the Scrooby Pilgrims, a group of Christians (Puritans, to be exact) who disagreed with the Church of England left Scrooby, a village in Nottingham, to worship in Holland (now the Netherlands). After deciding their children were being raised in the Dutch way and facing more religious persecution of sorts, they left Holland for the New World. America offered them a chance to worship as they pleased and to raise their families as they believed was right. The Pilgrims settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 and became the second permanent English colony in America (after Jamestown, which was settled in 1607).

The Pilgrims took their name from Hebrews 11:13-16, believing they were "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" who were seeking a better country. It's hard to imagine the bravery it required to sail halfway around the world, deciding to live somewhere they knew little about, and being completely cut off from everyone and everything they had ever known. But nothing was going to interfere with their free worship of God. It's an example we would do well to follow. Nothing, no false church doctrine, no government, no cultural standard should change how we follow the Bible and worship our Creator, Savior, and Comforter. He is our first and greatest priority.

And we shouldn't get too comfortable in this world, either. For we, too, are pilgrims seeking a better country -- a heavenly one.

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