Thanksgiving is a unique holiday that offers us the opportunity to pause and count our blessings. Recently, a friend shared this tidbit of history with me. It is believed that the first Thanksgiving celebration happened in 1619 at Berkeley Plantation here in Virginia. This is a year before the most famous 1620 Plymouth, Massachusetts event. The plantation website notes that their Thanksgiving festival dates back to 1619 when Captain John Woodlief and his crew of thirty-five men landed on the shores of the James River.
Although technically Thanksgiving is not a Christian holiday, being thankful is certainly is a biblical theme. I was surprised to learn from one of our mission partners this week that in some regions in China, Chinese Christians celebrate Thanksgiving as a Christian holiday! What a great opportunity to have a feast and be thankful to God for his great goodness.
This Sunday we will draw a line from a prominent New Testament text about missions to our sense of gratitude. We’ll see how Jesus answers a question with a promise. And we’ll learn more about the privilege we have to witness. Corey encouraged us last week, as we concluded our sermon series on Ruth, that we all have a story that fits into the Big Story of what God is doing to redeem all things. My prayer is that this Sunday we’ll have a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of God’s heart for those both near and far as well as discern what part we can play in this larger story.
Our weekly worship guide can be found here.
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”