By Reverend Paul N. Papas II
October 29, 2019
Most people think of Thanksgiving as Turkey Day, a time to overeat then park in front of the television.
“Giving thanks for the Creator’s gifts had always been a part of Wampanoag daily life. From ancient times, Native People of North America have held ceremonies to give thanks for successful harvests, for the hope of a good growing season in the early spring, and for other good fortune such as the birth of a child. Giving thanks was, and still is, the primary reason for ceremonies or celebrations.
As with Native traditions in America, celebrations – complete with merrymaking and feasting – in England and throughout Europe after a successful crop are as ancient as the harvest-time itself. In 1621, when their labors were rewarded with a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God and celebrated His bounty in the Harvest Home tradition with feasting and sport (recreation). To these people of strong Christian faith, this was not merely a revel; it was also a joyous outpouring of gratitude.” (1)
Depending upon your outlook you either see reasons to rejoice and be glad or search for reasons to complain. Life can be a half full or half empty glass or perhaps a glass overflowing.
Recently after surgery, in recovery, the whole surgical team was around my bed. I thought someone called a vote, they had not. I did say the Chipmunk was off my back. My doctor said, “The monkey was off [my] back.” I repeated it and we all laughed. Needless to say the patient pulled through.
Some months ago a doctor noticed a grapefruit growing on my back. A Sonogram, CT scan, MRI confirmed the Chipmunk had to go. One of the scans looked like a Chipmunk, with an arm and eye…the name stuck. Fortunately the Chipmunk was a benign lipoma. There was no way to be sure until the scalpel was applied.
As you can image the time from discovery to removal were full of questions. Had I been the half empty type I probably could have worried myself into a fetal position. Instead everyday there was a reason to rejoice and be glad.
“Early in 1621, the Pilgrims had built crude huts and a common house on the shores of Plymouth Bay. Then soon thereafter neighboring Indians began to build relations with the Pilgrims. SQUANTO, a local Indian who had been kidnapped and taken to England nearly a decade before, served as an interpreter with the local tribes. Squanto taught the Pilgrims to fertilize the soil with dried fish remains to produce a stellar corn crop.
MASSASOIT, the chief of the nearby Wampanoags, signed a treaty of alliance with the Pilgrims in the summer. In exchange for assistance with defense against the feared Narragansett tribe, Massasoit supplemented the food supply of the Pilgrims for the first few years.” (2)
From the beginning people helped people to make this country great and they rejoiced and celebrated accomplishments together.
It took a surgical team made up people with different talents to remove the Chipmunk. Had we called a vote I would have voted the team to be Number One.
The Chipmunk became a reason to rejoice and be glad, a Thanksgiving Chipmunk. Throw off that monkey and rejoice and be glad.
Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.