Mistress Kate, once again, greeting thee with a joyful heart! ‘Tis the harvest, indeed, this Autumn on Plimoth Plantation, and we Pilgrims are preparing for a great feast of Thanksgiving! From the persecutions of our brethern in England and the hand of God to deliver us onto this prepared land in America, through the storms and trials of our arrival last year in the fall of 1620 – we surely have much for which to be thankful. Today, we look back over the great loss of so many of our loved ones, even so . . .
The Indian native, Squanto, taught us the farming skills we needed to tend the earth in this new land. And, most joyfully we have reaped an abundant harvest by the Lord’s hand and keeping. Over the spring and summer we have grown to know our new Indian friends, and ’tis by a Peace Treaty that we will continue to enjoy their fellowship and trade for some 50 years hence.
Our leaders have called for a day of Thanksgiving to celebrate our blessings. It will require all our cookery wisdom, to be sure. The great Chief Massasoit will be in attendance, with others of his tribe – including Squanto and Samoset. They are to bring wild game for preparation and food to the feast.
Not a small amount of work to be done, I daresay – especially when we have our regular chores to be seeing to. Our laundry is ever busy and there’s clouting, to be sure!
As we often say with our Saint Paul in the Scriptures:
And, content we well be, with food good enough on the table – though often very different from our old English fare.
Our feasting tables overflowed on our Thanksgiving day. And, not just one day – but three whole days of feasting, games, contests, and prayers of thanksgiving!
Our Indian friends joined us in great celebration, bringing venison, waterfowl, geese, and eel to the table – enough for all. Through our good fellowship with the Indians, they came to inquire of us concerning the God we worship. What praises the day they, too, Samoset, Massasoit, and so many of the other Indian tribe, came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. They asked to be taught of the God of the Bible – the God of freedom and truth, who so graciously . . .
Oops! Mistress Kate is off to fetch yet another platter of victuals for the table and must end her story here. There’s still the washing up to be done when the feast is fini! And, perhaps a letter or two to write back to the family and friends in England, echoing the verses shared during these five chapters of the Thanksgiving Story. And, yet, here’s another verse she might write:
In 1623, three years after they landed, one of the Pilgrims wrote the verses of this song as a ballad about their life in New Plimoth. It was handed down from generation to generation and in 1767, was finally written down from the lips of a 94 year old woman. It was printed in 1774. It represents a firsthand account of life in the Plimoth colony. It’s apparent that the lyrics of the song were meant to be read back in England, just as they were meant to be heard in New England. While the Pilgrims were honest about reporting to the folks back home about the hardships in the New World, they were always eager to encourage new settlers to come to join them. It was their simplicity of life and fullness of their faith in God that no matter what Providence came their way they still praised Jehovah for their God was good!
Don’t miss all the story installments on THANKSGIVING – by Kathryn Ross:
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