In the coming week we will celebrate the holiday that we know as Thanksgiving. From a historical perspective in the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, and to a well recorded 1619 event in Virginia. Thanksgiving is also celebrated in several other countries on days other than the fourth Thursday in November. From a biblical perspective, the idea and tradition of “Thanksgiving” goes back much further. The book of Leviticus speaks of a fellowship offering of thanksgiving. In the book of Psalms, thanksgiving and giving thanks occurs more than 20 times. However, perhaps the most significant occurrence of the idea of thanksgiving comes in the institution of what we know as “Holy Communion.” Jesus would have used Hebrew words that translated into English would be these:
“Blessed is The Lord our God, Sovereign of the universe, who sustains the entire world with goodness, kindness and mercy. God gives food to all creatures, for God's mercy is everlasting. Through God’s abundant goodness we have not lacked sustenance, and may we not lack sustenance forever, for the sake of God’s great name. God sustains all, does good to all, and provides food for all the creatures whom God has created. Blessed is The Lord our God, who provides food for all.”
Suffice it to say, these are words of “Thanksgiving” for all that God does for us. My prayer is that as we enter this season of “Thanksgiving and Advent” we are mindful of all that God has done for us and all that God is doing for us.
Let our today be every day and let us be focused on all that we have to be thankful for; our biological and church families, and the freedom that we have in America, to mention just few…But most of all let us give thanks to God for what He has done in Christ Jesus.