Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reflections of our Thanksgiving

 As Thanksgiving approached, we took an afternoon to ponder our thoughts on thanksgiving. 
Food, football, and family!

Sounded about right.  A few thoughts about pilgrims and the "first thanksgiving" ... then came the question "But mom, is Thanksgiving one of God's holidays?"

OK, so that was a loaded question!  And I am definately raising a future debater, so here is a summary of our conclusions...

... "Thanksgiving Day" is NOT mentioned in the Bible
... "Give thanks unto the Lord" IS read 100 times in the Bible

... the Bible talks about the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Sukkot, meant to celebrate and remeber the sheltering presence of God gave his people in the wilderness
... after the Jews inherited the land, the theme shifted to an expression of thanskgiving for God's provision during that time
... is our holiday related to this Holy Day?


... some scholars beleive the pilgrims lived with jews in Holland (a safe haven from religeous prosecution at the time) before coming to North America
... they were Puritans, and their religious idealism led them to call themselves the "new Isreal", and their journey to the new world as an "Exodus event"
... once in the new world, they sought the appropriate biblical holiday to commemerate their safe arrival in their land of promise
(I am not a historian, however, and do not quite take this as fact)

... our Thanksgiving, then, could be a variation on the Feast of Tabernacles
... the "first thanskgiving" was a celebration of thanks and honor to God for His intervention and blessings

...we want to be careful that our holidays do not alter, replace or distort the meaning of a festival of God or other biblical truths

We revisited what our Thanksgiving was about ...
Thanksgiving for Gods love and provisions.
Clothing. His Word. Food. Good weather. JESUS. Healing. Toys.

Reading about the Feast of Tabernacles was not enough.
We took advantage of the weather, windy as it was, and went to work in our backyard on Wednesday.

Our fort in the summer is now bare in the fall
We made several fieldtrips to find branches.


We then weaved the branches into our driftwood fort to make our own Sukkot (Sue-coat).  As we worked, we talked about what it would be like to have to live in the wilderness for years (not just an exciting weekend!)  We also talked about current times when we feel we need or receive Gods protection.

When it came time to have our meal in our Sukkot, it began to downpour, but Speedy convinced the younger two that rain shouldn't stop them.   I offered up a simple "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever." (1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 106:1; Psalm 107:1; Psalm 118:1; Psalm 118:29; Psalm 136:1 - your pick!!!), and listened to them pray as I prepared my camera.  My heart melted, especially when they prayed that they were thankful for the rain, that it came at just the right time to make them even more thankful to God that they have a strong, dry, and warm house to live in.
We went on to have several Thanksgiving dinners with our various families.  Food is still a great part of our Thanksgiving, but it is just that, a part of our Thanksgiving, which is much greater than food alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment