But how do we give an unseen God a proper “Thank you”? I write the words in my journal almost daily, but they never seem to fully express the gratitude in my heart.
Amazingly, God might feel well thanked when we enjoy what he has given us and acknowledge that it has come from his loving hand. I’m not making this up; it’s described in Deuteronomy. In the context of Moses’s restatement of dietary restrictions, moral laws and the sacrificial system, he also described the method by which the Israelites should bring their tithes to God. A tithe was a tenth of their produce set aside for God in recognition that it all came from him in the first place. It was their offering, an expression of thanksgiving.
He told them to have a party with it. Really. He said to bring the tithe to the place he would designate and to eat it in his presence. And if his blessings were too abundant to cart all the way to the designated place, they were to sell the tithe and buy whatever they wanted with it. Anything. “Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice.” (Deut. 14:26) (They didn’t consume it all at the party, for the tithe also served to support the Priests, Levites and the poor and needy in ancient Israel.)
God wanted his people to enjoy what he had given them and to invite Him to the celebration.
That sounds like a good plan to me.
Our family, probably very much like yours, says “Thank you” by having a party. Warm welcomes, hugs and laughter, munching chex mix while whipping potatoes, stirring gravy and delivering too many dishes to the table are features of our family Thanksgiving parties. As we sit down to the feast, we speak a heartfelt “thank you” to God, and then we laugh and smile and nibble and sip in continued gratitude. We invite God to join us, and I believe he does.
How do you say “Thank you” at Thanksgiving?