5 Kernels of Corn

This true story will amaze you at the faith of the Pilgrims and inspire you to celebrate Thanksgiving with even more gratitude.

An important part of American heritage is the story of the group of British Christians who fled persecution and planted the Plymouth Colony in what is now Massachusetts.  

It was a daunting task to settle in such an undeveloped area, and the Pilgrims were ill-equipped. Their first winter in Plymouth, half of them died from disease and inadequate supplies. 

Things were so bad that they had to ration their supply of corn to five kernels per person per day

Several years later when crops were abundant, the Pilgrims started their Thanksgiving celebration by serving each person five kernels of corn as a reminder of what God had brought them through.

They understood what Paul meant when he wrote: 

“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.” Philippians 4:12-13

Whether they were struggling through lean times or enjoying abundance, they put their trust in God’s strength, not their own. 

Before our Thanksgiving meal, I serve five kernels of corn to remember our pilgrim heritage and God’s faithfulness. Why not make this your tradition too?

Resource: David Manuel and Peter Marshall, The Light and the Glory (Fleming Revell, NJ, 1977).

Please take some time today to read some of these 1-minute devotions—in fact, why not choose one or two to read aloud before your Thanksgiving meal.


Don't you think it's time to Take Back Thanksgiving?


Did you know that sometimes God Talks Turkey, and sometimes He doesn't? 


But today is a good day for us to Talk Turkey.


And we also should talk about Popcorn, Thanksgiving, and Heaven


When we're eating leftovers, let's make sure we Don't Give God Our Leftovers


And before tomorrow, let's ponder Black Friday and Good Friday.

Finally, after pondering Good Friday, it might be a good time to take another look at pilgrim faith: Gratitude Born of Pain.

I wish you all a Blessed Thanksgiving!! ⁓ Gail

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This true story will amaze you at the faith of the Pilgrims and inspire you to celebrate Thanksgiving with even more gratitude.

This true story will amaze you at the faith of the Pilgrims and inspire you to celebrate Thanksgiving with even more gratitude. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Bible Love Notes


  1. Thank you Gail for this reminder and this Pilgrim story. My stepson and his wife following this tradition each Thanksgiving around their Thanksgiving table. Hope you have a wonderful day. ~ Abby

    1. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving too, Abby.

    2. This was a beautiful reminder of God's faithfulness! I plan to start the same tradition with my 2 sons.

      Thank you Abby for taking time to post!

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. This is a beautiful reminder of God's faithfulness! I plan to start this tradition with my 2 sons. Thank you so much, Abby, for posting!

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. Gail,

    Thank you for all your contributions! Abby knows I have used things you have posted to encourage my sister who has had health issues since she was 2. She is now 67. You have helped to cheer her!

    Blessings for a very special Thanksgiving!


  4. Thank for sharing God's Scripture and food for thought!!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing this story..I have to admit being an immigrant to canada,I wondered what thanksgiving was all about..blindly we all celebrate it thanking the Lord for family and friends and keeping us safe in this new country..I would love to pass down this story to my children..love that you added scripture to it too.God bless.

  6. Please send me the free e-book. Thank you so much! It was such a joy to read about the Five Kernels of Corn! Blessings to you and your family.

    1. HI Deb,
      The comment tool doesn't give me your email so I can't send the booklet, but all you need to do is subscribe - click the HERE link at the bottom of this devotion and it will explain how. Then, when you get your first devotion in your email, hit "reply" and ask for the booklet.

      I'm glad you enjoyed this devotion. It's also one of my favorite Thanksgiving stories.

      God bless you

  7. Even without the Christian spin on the story it is a remarkable teaching lesson for being grateful and the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving.