5 Kernels of Corn

Pilgrims, story of hardship and thanksgiving, Thanksgiving heritage
Their first winter in Plymouth, half of the Pilgrims 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, highlighting this truth: 
“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, NLT)

Whether we’re struggling through lean times or enjoying abundance, we can trust God’s strength to get us through. 

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).
copyright 2011, Gail Burton Purath
This Thanksgiving story was first published on Bible Love Notes in 2011


  1. We did this when our children were growing up. I think I will do it today. Happy Thanksgiving, Gail!!

  2. I didnt know that information about the 5kernals of corn. Thanks for always sending truth to my inbox!


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