Thanksgiving, the Holy Day
“… by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips,
giving thanks to His name.” – Hebrews 13:15
I hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this past Monday.
Thanksgiving has become an important secular occasion in our nation, for people of all kinds of religious persuasions and those of no religious persuasion at all.
The thankfulness in Thanksgiving may be according to religious practice, or toward people who have added value to one’s life, or just for the time off work and the long holiday weekend.
Of course there are those of us as Christians that might bemoan the secularization of Thanksgiving. Instead of a holiday according to its Old English meaning of “Holy Day,” Thanksgiving has come to be identified with unholy things by many of its celebrants.
Perhaps I should say at this point that I am not against a secular Thanksgiving Day, but as a Christian I prefer a Thanksgiving Day that is in the traditional sense a Holy Day; certainly a day of family fellowship and good times, but also a day of worship through the giving of thanks to our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ from whom all blessings come.
Under the law of Moses, the Lord established Holy Day’s that were times of worshiping in His presence by means of family fellowship, food, fun, and even the inclusion of strangers; they were times of thankfulness, feasting and joy in the presence of the Lord. Such solemn assemblies might be considered a kind of party thrown by God. Since the Lord enjoys such events we might think it inconsiderate to leave Him out when we plan such days.
In the scripture cited above “the sacrifice of praise to God” is defined as “the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name;” and we are told to continually make this sacrifice, to continue giving audible thanks to the name of God.
This is not a sacrifice in the sense of giving up something we need or value; but rather, of separating from normal non-sacred use something that will be dedicated to the Lord.
According to our scripture it is “the fruit of our lips” that is being separated from normal non-sacred use, to be dedicated to the Lord; and the dedicated use is “praise” in the form of “giving thanks to His name.” May such fruit proceed always from your lips.
I hope that your Thanksgivings are always days filled with honor and praise for our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May He be invited to your party, and watch over your Holi-Day; and may your Holi-Day be conducted in a way that honors His presence and is filled with that thanksgiving which blesses the heart of God.
“… in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
George T. Frey, Jr.