Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving this month. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. I guess harvest comes sooner in the far north! Many countries celebrate harvest days and times for giving thanks without calling them Thanksgiving. Regardless of nationality, these holidays are often favorites because they carry all of the blessings of gratitude while avoiding the excess and envy of many holidays. Of course, Thanksgiving has its own brand of excess! By the time I’ve had second helpings from the feast of our Thanksgiving table, I’m ready for a nap!
The theme of feasting is closely associated with God’s work in the world. From the beginning when he set Adam and Eve in a garden, to the scene of the marriage feast of the Lamb in Revelation, God is continually bringing his people to celebrate with food. Think “land flowing with milk and honey,” and the bread and juice of our communion services. Even Jesus’ accusers’ slanderous title for him—“glutton and winebibber”—shows that they misunderstood his feasting. One of my favorite expressions of God’s promise of a feast is in Isaiah.
“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud over all people; he will swallow up death for ever. He will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth.” Isaiah 25:6–8
May your giving of thanks be a foretaste of that coming great feast!