The Feast of Thanksgiving
This is the week that we remember and celebrate Thanksgiving. This day is a national American holiday that is separated in the United States. The first Thanksgiving occurred in 1621 where the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledge today as the first Thanksgiving celebrations. Yet, it wasn’t until 1863 during the Civil War that President Abraham Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
With Thanksgiving instituted, we have typical foods that are associated with Thanksgiving. To show this point, what do you think about when you think about a Turkey Leg? Green bean casserole? Sweet Potato Pie and many various foods that we would associate with Thanksgiving. These are foods that we normally would have on Thanksgiving and if anyone would have these foods outside of Thanksgiving you would be deemed socially awkward. The Word of God is full of this idea of having foods that are associated with certain times of remembering.
We see this with the mean of the Passover (Lev. 23:4-8) where this feast reminds us of the last plague in Egypt, when the angel of death passed over the children of Israel. We see the feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:6) where this feast begins on the day following the start of Passover and the people of God were to remember the hardships in Egypt and how God freed them from captivity. We see the feast of First Fruits (Lev. 23:10) where this is one of three Jewish harvest feasts to thank and honor God for all He has provided. We see the feast of Pentecost (Lev. 23:16) where the people of God were expected to bring the first harvest of grain to the Lord. We see the feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24) where God commands His people to rest. We see the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16) where the people of God were to make restitution for wrongs committed. Lastly, we see the feast of Booths (Lev. 23:34) where this celebration always follows the Day of Atonement and it celebrates God’s provision and protection for the people of Israel during their 40 years in the desert.
The concept of a feast is not a new concept to the people of Israel and for the believer in Christ. For the believer in Christ, we remember Christ through the partaking of communion and every meal in which we eat (1 Cor. 11:26) until Jesus returns. With this Thanksgiving Meal, may we cultivate a heart of gratitude for the Lord for all that He has given us in Christ? God has provided for our ultimate need which is the forgiveness of sin so that our relationship with Him would be reconciled. May we be a people that is thankful to the Lord and may that thankfulness extend to our body of Christ and to our neighbors around us?
May we as a church use Thanksgiving for us to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us and to point others to Christ who may not know Christ. May we remember all that God has given us in Christ. He has given us everything that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). May we pray and invite those to our tables who may be experiencing Thanksgiving on their own due to loss. May we pray and go out to those who are away from their families due to military service or first responders who are on duty this Thanksgiving.