On December 26, 1942, Congress passed a law making Thanksgiving Day the fourth Thursday of November. This legislation ended the long-standing controversy of which Thursday in November was the official Thanksgiving Holiday. The fourth Thursday became the legal day based on the lobbying by business leaders to have an extra week of shopping before Christmas. Therefore, Black Friday was born.
It was the custom of the Jews to praise God for each dish served at a meal. That is the foundation of Jesus at the Last Supper (a Passover Meal) giving thanks to God for the bread and then giving thanks for the wine. Jesus was following the tradition of thanking God for each dish being served. Scripture says that Jesus did the same when He fed the 5,000 and 7,000 with loaves of bread and some fish. Following the Jewish tradition, the early church practiced giving thanks to God before a meal.
Deuteronomy 8:10 lays the foundation for giving thanks: “After you eat and are full, give praise to the LORD your God for the good land he gave you.” *(Deuteronomy 8:10, CEV)* We traditionally give thanks to God before a meal but it would be a good start for a new tradition is we also thanked God after a meal. The Hebrew word used for “thanksgiving” meant “to bless.” We celebrate for God’s blessing of food given to us. The Christian Bible Greek links thanksgiving to “grace.” The food provided to us for the needed nourishment for life is an act of God’s grace. Therefore before a meal, we say “grace.”
For Israel Psalm provided a song for Thanksgiving: “Shout praises to the LORD, everyone on this earth. Be joyful and sing as you come in to worship the LORD! You know the LORD is God! He created us, and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep in his pasture. Be thankful and praise the LORD as you enter his temple. The LORD is good! His love and faithfulness will last forever.” *(Psalm 100:1–5, CEV)*
In Deuteronomy Chapter 6 Moses warned the people by telling them this before they entered the Promised Land: “The LORD promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give you this land. Now he will take you there and give you large towns, with good buildings that you didn’t build, and houses full of good things that you didn’t put there. The LORD will give you wells that you didn’t have to dig, and vineyards and olive orchards that you didn’t have to plant. But when you have eaten so much that you can’t eat anymore, don’t forget it was the LORD who set you free from slavery and brought you out of Egypt. Worship and obey the LORD your God with fear and trembling, and promise that you will be loyal to him.” *(Deuteronomy 6:10–13, CEV)*
This warning holds true today to a people who have been blessed by an abundant land.
Blessings Pastor Mick