Thanksgiving Day is a holiday that is celebrated only in North America, as Canada and the United States are the only two countries that celebrate a holiday by that name. Other countries around the world that celebrate a holiday similar to Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada are China, Brazil, Malaysia, India and Korea. Thanksgiving is a harvest-related festival intended to show gratitude for a bountiful harvest. The roots of Thanksgiving for the Judeo-Christian community run long and deep. The Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot, described in Leviticus 23, is Israel’s Thanksgiving feast in which they acknowledge the Fall harvest and God’s provision for them. It is happy celebration and a time of rejoicing. God’s appointed feasts focus around an agricultural cycle of events which would be a constant reminder of God’s purpose and provisions and an opportunity to both depend upon and demonstrate the power of the God of Israel.
Americans celebrate many “traditions” on Thanksgiving Day. There is football, feasting, family-gathering, and, of course, frenzied preparation for Black Friday! The one tradition which is increasingly absent from our celebrations is the one on which the whole concept of Thanksgiving is based – giving thanks to God for His provision of our needs. As you gather around a table tomorrow, remember the God who provides EVERYTHING we have and truly give Him thanks.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. (Ps. 95:1-6).
-Pastor Dave Jones