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LEARNS ABOU T THANKSG IV ING By Betty Bruechert
for sure is that He sent His Son to die on the cross fo r us. Soon my father will read the story from the Word of God which he has beside him. See it there?” Little Chipmunk looked gravely at the big black book beside the Pilgrim father’s plate. “ Your Great Spirit has son, like I am son to Chief Bear Claw?” “ Yes, something like that, Little Chip munk. His name is Jesus and He died to take away our sins. He wants us to love Him for what He did fo r us,” “You mean sin:— like fighting and killing?” “ Yes, and telling lies, and stealing, and having bad thoughts. Jesus can take them all away.” Little Chipmunk was very still. Then he asked, “ Could little Indian boy love and thank Him to o ? ” Priscilla’s eyes were shining. “ Of course, Little Chipmunk. Just bow your head and thank Jesus for dying for you.” Little Chipmunk closed his eyes for a moment, then looked up with a radiant smile as Priscilla’s mother came to the table, bearing On a huge platter an im mense golden-brown roasted turkey, surrounded by mounds .of ruby-red cran berry jelly.
could not hear him, “ Is this a war feast? Are your people going to fight their enemies?” “ Oh, no, Little Chip munk,” whispered Priscilla, “ We are at peace with all men. This is a feast of Thanksgiving.” “ What you mean by Thanksgiving? Is it like tribal dance to celebrate victory ? ” Priscilla laughed softly. “ Goodness, no, Little Chipmunk. We just want to thank God for what He has done for us this year.” “ God—is He like our Great Spirit?” Priscilla thought hard for a moment. “ Yes, in a way, He is, Little Chipmunk. He made the world, and all of us, and sends the rain, and the sunshine, and the flowers.” “ But,” asked Little Chipmunk, “ is He not very angry with you? Did not many of your men find graves in this land?” Priscilla looked very sad. “ Yes, Little Chipmunk, that is true. But since they were God’s children, they are now in Heaven with Him, and they suffer no more.” “ Do you then make feast to Him, so He will punish you no m ore?” “ Oh, no, Little Chipmunk. We believe God loves us. And the way we know
Little Chipmunk’s face was radiant.
I T was the fall of 1621. The first long bitter winter in the new land of America, during which half of the Plym outh Colony had perished, was now but an unhappy memory. It had been a good summer and the bountiful corn crop was now safely stored in barns. Deep grati tude to God was felt in the hearts of all so that when Governor Bradford decreed a special day o f Thanksgiving, the announcement was hailed with de light, and plans for a great celebration were entered into with enthusiasm. Into the forests the men hurried for wild game with musket and arrow, while the women cleaned and baked and set up long tables for a banquet. Even the children lent a hand, cracking nuts, gathering berries, and watching the sa vory roasts turning on the spits before the open fires. For days great excite ment prevailed, not lessened by the ar rival o f the special guests—more than fourscore friendly Indians, gaily be decked with beads and feathers, and bearing gifts of wild turkey and veni son. Since only a few knew any of the white man’s tongue, there was a great nodding of heads, and shaking of hands, and smiling. That was how it came about that Little Chipmunk, the ten-year-old son of kind old Chief Bear Claw, found him self seated at the table with Priscilla and her father. They made a great con trast, the little Pilgrim girl in her gray gown, with snowy kerchief and apron, and the sturdy Indian lad in his fringed deerskin jacket and trousers and elab orate head-dress of brightly-colored feathers. Little Chipmunk could talk English because he had often listened in to the lessons their mothers taught the Pilgrim children. He learned their games too, and was a great favorite with all of them. That was why Pris cilla asked her father’s permission to have him sit at their table. She wanted him to hear the prayers and Bible read ings that were to follow the feasting. But Little Chipmunk was puzzled. This was the first time that he had ever seen the Pilgrims gather together just to have a good time. They were always working hard and had so little to eat. He had to find out what it was all about. “ Priscilla,” said Little Chipmunk in a tone so low that the older people Page Sixteen
A THANKSG IV ING A CRO ST IC
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift (2 Cor. 9:15). He (Daniel) kneeled upon his knee three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime (Dan. 6:10). And whatsoever ye do in word or .deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Col. 3:17). Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name (I Chron. 29:13). Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; . . . Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him and bless his name (Psa. 100:3, 4). So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will gjve thee thanks for ever: we will show forth thy praise to all generations (Psa. 79:13). Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people (I Chron. 16:8). It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High (Psa. 92:1). Visit me with thy salvation; . . . that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation (Psa. 106:4, 5). In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thess. 5:18). Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place (2 Cor. 2:14). Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers o f the inheritance of the saints in light (Col. 1:12). JUN IOR KIN05 BUSINESS
Martha S. Hooker
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