On the 400th anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact, Christians gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts, near the Mayflower II, a replica of the original ship, to pray, proclaim and sign a new covenant.
But the 2020 Mayflower Compact isn't a rewrite or a change in direction. Its original God-focused words and intent still say all that needs to be said. The compact opens with, "In the name of God, Amen" and goes on to communicate the intent of the group to advance their Christian faith, individually and mutually, for the glory of the Lord.
"We signed the original Mayflower Compact on the re-created Mayflower, which sits in the harbor," said Michele Bachmann, former Minnesota Congresswoman and co-chair of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast. "We needed to rededicate our nation and reinvigorate the Mayflower Compact for today and for the where we will go as a nation during the next 10 generations, should the Lord tarry."
"I was reminded of a verse in Jeremiah which says, 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.' (Jer. 33:3) This is part of what we were doing and what He will do for the generations yet unborn," Jerry Perera of the Leyden Preservation Group, who participated in the signing, said.
The pilgrimage of the modern signers brought them to the sacred place, not by ship, but by car and by plane. They carried a passion to renew a covenant established in 1620 by their ancestors, who dedicated the new land to God.
The original compact was signed on Nov. 11, 1620.
A 2020 signing was held on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Wednesday's signers consisted of Mayflower descendants, First Nations people and historians who planned to assemble after discovering that all official celebrations of the 400th anniversary had been cancelled because of COVID-19. Instead, a modern pilgrimage, led by the Holy Spirit, drew people from all over, many of whom had no idea anyone else would be joining them in Plymouth to honor God.
The Mayflower Compact has historical significance because it was the first document to establish self-government in the new world. It was an early, successful attempt at democracy and played a role in future colonists seeking permanent independence from British rule, shaping what was to become the United State of America.
"In the midst of our national crisis here in America, hundreds and hundreds of believers, not from our group, were drawn here to Plymouth," Bachmann said. "At exactly 11:11 a.m., we were worshipping outside by the bay, next to the rock where the Pilgrims stepped when they got off the ship and knelt down and had their first prayer meeting here."
"The glory of the Lord was once again coming forth from Plymouth," Bachmann added during an interview with Charisma Media founder and CEO Stephen Strang. "When we pray, we are praying to the same God of the Bible that the pilgrims prayed to and the same Holy Spirit."
"They didn't want to be governed in the natural state of affairs," Perera said. "They knew that their only governance was in the name of God. They were planting a colony, but they were planting it under God. They came here for that specific reason."
The original signers of the compact risked their lives to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to escape religious persecution and establish a new world based on freedom.
The Real Systemic America
To help these brave worshippers establish the colony, the 104 Mayflower passengers crafted the compact as an early aid in governance. In addition to the Puritans who led the cause, they invited all aboard to sign the compact and move forward in unity in establishing the United States of America.
The inclusion of all the passengers is one of the first representations of what would become an anchor to the United States Constitution: All men are created equal.
In a time when society is fixated on systemic racism or systemic inequality, the Mayflower Compact shows that America was founded on systemic equality. The Pilgrims risked their lives to sail across the Atlantic Ocean in a cargo vessel to birth a nation.
"Our nation is built on written documents that show the systemic equality of one nation under God, all people or all men are created equal," Perera said.
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