This month, we gather with our family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving and share meals in remembrance of the first Pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower. We celebrate in honor of the first harvest that the Pilgrims and Indians shared together, thinking about what we’re thankful for, eating a lot, and watching football. We may give a thought to the men with funny black hats, short pants, and belt buckles, but rarely do we think about who the Pilgrims really were and what they stood for.
In the 1600’s, there was a group of people who lived in England called the Separatists. They did not recognize the established church, and some doubted that the Church of England was scriptural. The King did not want the common man to have a Bible. He wanted it filtered through the church where he could have control. King James made a law that said there could be no private religious meetings. Having strength in their faith and fortitude in their convictions, these people started gathering secretly to worship and learn God’s word. By going against the King, they were denouncing the English Monarchy which was equal to treason. After risking their lives, being put in jail, and enduring many hardships, they made a resolution to settle in the New World.
In 1620, these people thinking about future generations, knowing that many may not survive the trip, set sail for America. This voyage lasted 66 days. Out of the 102 passengers after the first winter, only 55 survived. After all the extreme hardships, sickness and death, they chose to stay behind when their ship returned to England. Seeing God’s providence, they had the courage and faith to carry on. William Bradford said, If we are to lose our lives at least we know that our cause is just and honorable.
What a great joy I have to show the children in my class America’s history. As we reenact the Pilgrims voyage, we dress like Pilgrims, and eat stale bread and beef jerky. I put tape on the floor for them to sit in. As they are squished on the floor, we read the story of the original Pilgrim’s voyage. They learn about the adversity that the Pilgrims went through. They see that their faith was more important than safety, comfort, and their own lives; but most of all, they see God’s sovereignty. God loves us, his children, and we can always trust in His plan. For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5.
By Kindergarten Teacher, Julie Angelo