November 22, 2020
Matthew 26:26-29 (ESV)
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
That First Thanksgiving
The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days, and—as recounted by attendee Edward Winslow—was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.
The land was rich with fish, turkey, water fowl, and deer.
Edward Winslow wrote this letter:
“By the goodness of God”
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you, partakers of our plenty.
Thanksgiving was a time set aside for celebration of God’s goodness, provision, and blessings. What started as a festival initiated by the church to later become a Federal Holiday, the emphasis on the goodness, provision, and providence of Almighty God and the forgiveness of sins found in Jesus Christ.
The Origin of Thanksgiving
Psalm 100:1-5 (ESV)
1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Deuteronomy 26:1-19 (ESV)
1 “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it,
2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there.
3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.’
4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God.
5 “And you shall make response before the LORD your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.
6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor.
7 Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.
8 And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders.
9 And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
10 And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O LORD, have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the LORD your God and worship before the LORD your God.
11 And you shall rejoice in all the good that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.
12 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your towns and be filled,
13 then you shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion out of my house, and moreover, I have given it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all your commandment that you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.
14 I have not eaten of the tithe while I was mourning, or removed any of it while I was unclean, or offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God. I have done according to all that you have commanded me.
15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.’
16 “This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and rules. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.
17 You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice.
18 And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments,
19 and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.”
The Church's Thanksgiving
Colossians 1:12-14 (ESV)
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
We have much to be thankful for!
- I will celebrate the goodness of God this week!
- I will offer thanksgiving to the Lord.
- I will remember his blessings in my life.
- I will live gratefully.
Gratitude - The Gospel!
Please invite someone who will benefit from it.
(the greatest contribution we make to our community is the gospel!)