Views expressed in letters to the editor do not represent opinions of The Gazette-Virginian or staff members.
To the editor:
I guess like most people I hadn’t thought about this.
I always just thought it began with the pilgrims. I had never connected feasts with the Bible.
But, I found this and wanted to share it:
“Feasts of Thanksgiving didn’t begin in America with presidential proclamations. They didn’t begin with the grateful Pilgrims in Plymouth. Neither did they originate with the Native Americans’ harvest celebrations. The true source of feasting as a celebration is of gratitude is God Himself.
“In the Old Testament, God initiated a number of yearly feasts for his people the Israelites. These were not optional events, but were written into the Law that God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai. God knew better than His children the importance of setting aside time to reflect on His abundant provision for them. When we focus on God’s goodness and His character, we are not only grateful, but we are motivated to believe Him for more. Our faith grows as we remember His past intervention in our lives.
“The first feast God instituted was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which commemorated the Israelites’ deliverance from bondage in Egypt. It was a time to remember the miraculous way God had set them free and then led them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.
“The Feast of Harvest, the second celebration in the calendar year, was for the purpose of dedicating the first fruits of the new crops. This event was followed by the Feast of Ingathering, which occurred at the end of the harvest season. This third occasion of feasting was set aside to celebrate God’s abundant harvest provision.
“The joyful mood of thanksgiving in all of the Old Testament feasts is represented well in this psalm:
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth.” Psalm 105:1-2, 5
I hope you will have a blessed Thanksgiving feast.