Giving Thanks

Saturday, November 21, 2009

While our country has celebrated a time of Thanksgiving since the Pilgrim days, we are not the first country to recognize the importance of giving thanks. God commanded the Israelites to celebrate seven feasts over seven months starting in spring and ending in fall. Three of these feasts were to honor God for the harvest. The Feast of Firstfruits was the time to present God the first fruits of the barley harvest. The Feast of Harvest celebrated the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Tabernacles was the time to give thanks for the olives, dates, and figs. The period of the feasts always included sacrifice, praise and thanksgiving. As families do today on Thanksgiving Day, the Israelites drew together to celebrate and worship God and to commemorate their history.

Showing thankfulness to God for his love and care permeates the Bible and often includes the theme of sacrifice, thanksgiving, and praise.

Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, And tell of His works with joyful singing. Psalm 107:22

Especially during the Thanksgiving season we are reminded to offer thanks for the abundance in our lives. Even during this time of economic crisis, we have much to be thankful for. Let’s follow the pattern of the Israelites and offer sacrifice, praise, and thanksgiving.

Sacrifice – We can make a sacrificial gift to feed those who may go hungry during our season of plenty. We can offer God the sacrifice of our time spent it devotion and service for him.

Praise – God wants us to sing our praises to him. Praising God reminds us of his greatness. It is through praise that we feel his presence. The NIV Bible says that Christian praise is the joyful thanking and adoring of God, the celebration of His goodness and grace . The words “Praise the Lord” appear in over 50 verses. Use these verses as a reminder to tell God of his greatness.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, praise his holy name. (Psalm 103:1)
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2
Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Psalm 103:22
Praise the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. Psalm 104:1
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6

Thanksgiving – This year my family will incorporate the Legend of the Five Kernels in our Thanksgiving celebration. This tradition stems from the starvation period when the Pilgrims were struggling to survive. The story holds that they rationed corn to five kernels a person. The following spring the corn crop thrived. The five kernels is a way to remember the sacrifices of the past and to be thankful for our blessings. This year my family will find five kernels at their table setting and we will express thanksgiving with these reminders:
• The first kernel reminds us of the autumn beauty.
• The second kernel reminds us of our love for God.
• The third kernel reminds us of our family's love.
• The fourth kernel reminds us of our friends.
• The fifth kernel reminds of our freedom.

Above all, celebrate the goodness and greatness of God!


jim said...

You have reminded me of many lessons learned from struggle. Practical lessons for the most part. But I am thankful for something else. I am reminded of a quote. " A bird doesn't sing because he has an answer. It sings because it has a song." I am thankful for my song. And Yours.

jim said...

Is this where you can join Cathy's fan club? Heck, I didn't even know she had a fan club until John told me. Thank you John!!

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