Giving thanks for one thing or another goes back for ever, in China: "Chung Chiu" Moon Festival is believed to date back ten to twenty thousand years ago.
Any one that has been around a ranch or farm or gone to sea knows about the cycles of the moon. Fishermen watch it to know the tides. Farmers watch the moon in connection with planting crops.
What does one have to be thankful for?
The recent rash of tornado's in the mid west is fresh in my mind. With all of that destruction, even some deaths yet many were interviewed and said they were thankful. Thankful they had a seller or safe room. Those that survived were thankful they were alive.
Vietnam: Têt-Trung-Thu Festival: 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Asian lunar calendar. Celebration of the harvest or thanksgiving for rain and sun that produce a bountiful harvest. Tết Nguyên Đán (1st morning after 1st new moon of the 1st month of the Vietnam lunar year.)
The first murder recorded in the Bible was related to a harvest offerings and jealously. Was Able more thankful than his brother Cain? Was Cain less obedient than Able in his offering? Who knows for sure? Let's leave that to the theologians.
The point is we as human beings have recognized the occasion, opportunity or need for giving thanks within civilization for many millennia.
What should we be thankful for?
Leviticus 7 is full of offerings. Offerings of all kinds, the how's and why's. For the sake of time and the subject we will just consider the giving of thanks. In verse eleven it says they (the Israelites) could be thankful with a "fellowship" offering "to the Lord." May we consider then that one may be thankful for fellowship with God. Actually that is a great and mighty thing to be thankful about!
For any one of all creation to find or have a relationship with the Creator is a blessing above all any other of all of civilization. The ancients of all civilizations made offerings to what they or their leaders saw connected to the power they felt or believed in the moon or sun or seasons.
Through the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we find the idea of a Mighty yet Merciful God. Able to breathe life into every living thing on earth and even communicate with mankind or (for those of the liberation mind set) "Human Kind."
What greater thing to be "thankful" for than a relationship with the loving and caring Creator!
Who should be Thankful?
I am mindful of the many times that I have read that God called on those skilled in crafts to build the Ark or the temple in the dessert, the City of David and the Temple of Solomon.
Fellers of timbers (1Kings 5:6), Masons (2Ch 24:12), Carpenters (2Sa 5:11), Gem cutters (Ex 28:11), Goldsmiths (Isa 46:6), engravers, designers, embroiderers and weavers, (Exodus 35:35), oarsmen (Ezekiel 27:8), Potters (Ro 9:21),
Skilled workers and Artisans "and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts." (Exodus 31:3-5)
The Bible says all of these skills, wisdom and knowledge comes from God. It doesn't seem like a stretch that everyone has skills, gifts and life to be thankful for. And for all of this to be thankful to God.
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe," Hebrews 12:28 NIV
LET US PRAY.
Yours in Faith,