Tomorrow, in the United States, we will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. This was originally established to give thanks to God, for His blessing on our nation. So, I want to take a post to get our minds into that frame of reference.
I was reading in the Old Testament about thanksgiving. It was interesting to see that, in the Law of Moses, God instituted a sacrifice of thanksgiving. It’s found in Leviticus 7:11-15, but I’ll only quote one verse here.
The meat of his fellowship offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the day it is offered; he must leave none of it till morning.
In the Old Testament there are different classifications of sacrifices. One of these is known as the fellowship offerings. They were the freewill offerings. They weren’t required. They were only offered if the worshiper wanted to.
Of these fellowship offerings, this is the “Todah” sacrifice. It’s an offering of thanksgiving by raising the hands.
In this offering, an animal was killed and the blood was drained and sprinkled upon the altar. Then, only the fat around the organs was burned on the altar.
The rest was cooked and eaten by the priest and worshiper. The priest and his family would get the breast and the right leg. The worshipers would get the rest. Along with this, the offering included four kinds of bread that they ate along with the sacrifice.
I found this to be very interesting. In the Old Testament, the Thanksgiving offering was a meal. They celebrated Thanksgiving just like us.
Did you know that a meal can be worship?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Think about it. At one point Peter was rebuked for refusing to eat with Gentiles. In the New Testament we’re also instructed not to eat with hypocrites. That’s because a meal involves fellowship.
Do you see the Thanksgiving meal as worship? Make a point to mention it this year.
“This meal is an act of our worship to God.”
Why is this important? It turns out that in the Old Testament, the root of the word, fellowship, is the word, shalom. In that case, Thanksgiving is the celebration of God’s gift of shalom.
Even though shalom is usually translated as peace, there’s a lot more to it. It’s one of those huge words in Scripture. Shalom actually speaks of fullness of life, wholeness, prosperity, safety, and peace with God.
Isn’t that what Jesus came to accomplish in us?
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The reason Jesus came was so that we could enter the covenant. The result of this is shalom – fullness of life.
The thanksgiving meal should celebrate what God has done for you. If you remember, you may want to pray with your hands raised this year.
Celebrate the good things God has done, and is doing in your life.
Question: What are you thankful for right now?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi