November 24, 2019

A Pattern of Thanksgiving

Passage: 1 Chron 29:10-22

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Traditions often come from historical patterns; we follow the examples of those who came before us.

The Thanksgiving holiday is one such tradition. History tells us that the Pilgrims celebrated a day of thanksgiving after a fruitful harvest in December 1621.

The grateful Pilgrims declared a three-day feast to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. Ninety Wampanoag Indians joined the fifty Pilgrims for three days of feasting, play, and prayer. They enjoyed eating fish, lobsters, turkey, cornbread, berries, venison, and other foods. The young Pilgrim and Wampanoag men engaged in races, wrestling matches, and other athletic events. And the Pilgrims thanked God for his generous provision. This celebration and its accompanying activities were the origin of the holiday that Americans now celebrate each November.[1]

We follow the tradition of thanksgiving in American history, but we may also look to a much older tradition of thanksgiving we find in the Bible. That’s what I want to do today.

In 1 Chronicles 29, we find David, Solomon, and all the people of Israel celebrating the transition from the rule of King David to the rule of Solomon. After David’s death, Solomon would build the temple. David had prepared all the building materials needed for the construction of the temple, and all the people gathered to celebrate the beginning of this great project.

David’s expression of praise to the Lord serves as a template or pattern for how we may express our thanksgiving to God. This biblical event was not the basis of our Thanksgiving holiday, and it really doesn’t have anything to do with a good harvest. But I think David’s expression of thanksgiving and praise sets a good pattern that we may follow during our Thanksgiving celebration. They were giving thanks to God for what he had done for them, and we do the same on Thanksgiving Day.

Vs. 13 – this is an expression of thanksgiving and praise.

What do we learn from this pattern of thanksgiving?

[1] David Barton, “Celebrating Thanksgiving in America.”

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