Monday, November 22, 2010

The REAL First Thanksgiving

Is it okay to change the part in history where it says Thanksgiving originated with pilgrims and turkey and other stuff(ing)? The REAL first Thanksgiving happened not hundreds, but thousands of years ago…

There were two brothers, two offerings and two very different responses. The Lord was looking for the men to realize who was God and who was not. So, He invented thanksgiving by asking them to bring an offering of praise to Him.

At harvest time Cain brought to the LORD a gift of his farm produce, while Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his offering, but he did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected. “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked him. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it.” (Genesis 4:3-6)

Well..what’s a family holiday without a little bit of sibling rivalry? We could speculate all day about why God rejected Cain’s offering, but one thing is certain; this thing didn’t go down - in this way - because God hates peas! Cain was not rejected because “meat” is a better offering than “garden veggies”. There was definitely a heart issue with Cain that didn’t set well with the Lord. Abel gave his offering with a grateful heart.

Cain’s thanksgiving was like wax fruit in a bowl. It looked real on the outside, but in reality it was fake and useless. Abel on the other hand, remembered that every breath of air he breathed was a gift from God. As a response, he brought his best to the thanksgiving table.

This week we reflect on life and respond with being thankful. Let’s not forget that God cares very much about the heart behind our thankfulness, and He is not fooled when it is merely wax fruit in a bowl--set out to look pretty, but good for nothing. True and heartfelt thankfulness recognizes that every good thing in our life is directly from God's hand. It gives us hope and turns our eyes on Jesus.