A Homeschooler’s Biblical Perspective on ThanksgivingNov 23rd, 2010 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: General Homeschool Posts
But last night, I was challenged by a Thanksgiving service held at a Lutheran church where my daughter and her choral group were singing.
Although the format of the service was vastly different from those I typically attend, I found myself focusing on a whole different aspect of Thanksgiving.
You see, as Christians we recognize that we should be thankful all year long. We realize that Thanksgiving is just a concrete reminder of all that God does for us. But, how often do we really look at how often the Bible addresses the need for thankfulness?
- In Genesis 4:2-5, in response to what was evidently a command of the Lord, Cain and Abel give of the fruits of their labor each year.
- Deuteronomy 26:1-11 the Lord commands the Israelite people to “take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you . . . ” and “…set it down before the Lord your God…and celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.” (I encourage you to have your homeschooler read this entire passage here).
- In Phillippians 4:4-9, we are encouraged to not worry about anything “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God . . .” The writer goes on to challenge us in how we lie our lives. Read the entire passage here.
- In Luke 17:11-19 we read about the ten lepers and the one and only one who stopped to thank Jesus for healing him.
There are so many others all throughout our Bibles — passages which challenge us to give thanks to God who is the provider of all things, who has created us for a specific purpose and given us gifts that will help us to achieve that purpose. He cares for us, loves us, provides for us in times of need, holds us through our darkest times and gave His one and only Son so that we can have a relationship with Him.
So perhaps the tradition of Thanksgiving had at its roots so much more than a people celebrating with the Native Americans and thanking God for all of His provisions. His Word commands and encourages us to give thanks not only for the blessings that God has granted us but also the challenges, the griefs, the difficulties and the pain. Perhaps at its roots was the obedience of a people dedicated to following God’s commands while also worshiping and honoring their Lord and Savior. Perhaps they thanked Him not only for sustaining them and providing for them, but also for the challenges that made them a better people.
Thanksgiving didn’t start here in America–but hopefully it will continue to be a holiday where we stop and reflect with attitudes of gratitude and then go on to live lives of thanksgiving that are a testimony to those around us.
Additional homeschooling posts:
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