Thanksgiving Language

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We had an near-embarrassing amount of food for twenty-three people at our Thanksgiving meal :

  • 1 1/2 turkey
  • dressing
  • mashed potatoes and gravy
  • 3 dozen rolls and homemade jams
  • squash soup
  • corn casserole
  • sweet potatoes
  • green bean casserole
  • baked beans
  • cottage cheese
  • cranberry sauce
  • fruit salad
  • freezer coleslaw
  • 4 pumpkin pies
  • chocolate cake
  • sandwich cookies cheesecake
  • apple crisp
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                Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell 1943

My husband’s family traditionally encourages the youngest to offer the prayer before the meal at our large gatherings, and so our five-year-old grandson prompted us to hold hands, and then he led us in a version of the prayer that many learned as children:

God is great. God is good, and we thank Him for our food.

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(Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania 1942)

Putting the leftovers away in the refrigerator was like solving a 3-D puzzle. I balanced the pumpkin pie on the leftover turkey container. Our spatial relationship thinking was challenged as we sought the right size containers for potatoes and gravy. Cars became make-shift  refrigerators for casseroles that wouldn’t fit in the kitchen refrigerator.

We feasted at our Thanksgiving meal, and such abundance is a metaphor for the spiritual feast God has set before us. Our cup isn’t just full; it overflows (Psalm 23). Whether we go through seasons of ease and physical abundance or times of grief and trial, God’s character has not changed. He is still a good, kind, and loving Father.

For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children.   Romans 8:16  TLB

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!   1 John 3:1   NIV

God speaks to us in the language of love, for He is love (1 John 4:8). Christine Laennec, a fellow blogger, writes of a plaque on a park bench in Glasgow that reads “Express Love Clearly.” Our heavenly Father speaks love to us clearly, in ways that we will understand.

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  Luke 6:45   NIV

As a writer I especially appreciate the imagery of a written banner over the guest of honor at a banquet.

He brought me to the banqueting house,
    and his banner over me was love. SoS 2:4   RSV

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How then do we respond to the feast of food, a feast of love?

We thank God for our physical blessings, yes, but health comes and goes. Our loved ones may not be with us next November. No job is guaranteed. No house is indestructible. No car is unbreakable. No peace in this world is permanent.

We thank God for the imperishable, incorruptible, and immutable. God’s character doesn’t change.

God is great. God is good, and we thank Him . . .

The special variety of God’s language that we speak (which is derived from His original Love Language) is giving thanks. We recognize who God is,  and we are grateful.

Thanksgiving is our dialect.   Ephesians 5:4   MSG

 

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I found this version of our mealtime blessing to be sung to the tune of  “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”:

God is great and God is good.
And we thank him for our food.

By his hands we all are fed.
Thank you, Lord, for our daily bread.
God is great and God is good,
And we thank him for our food.

Amen, which means “so be it.”

Posted on November 28, 2015, in Devotional and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Sounds like a beautiful and memorable Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing at Weekend Whispers.

  2. Amen. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. We were glad and grateful to have our entire family gathered around the table for the first time in 5 years….which means not only were we all together, but we had four new members at the table that weren’t there 5 years ago. We are blessed indeed.

  3. Food looks really nice. I can’t eat nearly anything that I used to. My body and how things taste in my mouth and how things smell, I can hardly do what I used to. But things look wonderful and I can eat ice cream and a few other things very easily. But you’re a treat, BTW, for many. Blessings…

  4. Oh this was all just lovely! And that verse, in The Message – how had I not noticed it before? (Thanksgiving is our dialect. Ephesians 5:4 MSG) So much amen!

  5. Janis@Heart-Filled Moments

    What a blessing to hear about the abundance of LOVE at your Thanksgiving feast. The food we share is a sign of our love for each other and our gratefulness for God’s love for us. I liked your emphasis on thanking God for who He is because He is never changing and imperishable. Everything else and everyone else may not be at the table next year–a sobering thought. We take too much for granted.
    I was next to you at Give Me Grace.
    Blessings, Janis

  6. I love how you intertwined God’s language of love, and our response of thanksgiving. We all have much to be grateful for. And now, Advent, a long sigh, a breath held. May yours be filled with JOY and peace, Connie. Blessings!

  7. It was a great time for not only eating, but reconnecting with family! Thanks for your ministry of hospitality to us all!

  8. Constance,
    What a lovely post on how we can be thankful for God’s abundance in food and in love🙂 So glad you had a wonderful time with your family🙂

  9. I love the imagery of SoS 2.4…His banner over me is LOVE and then He throws in Joy Peace and Hope! Oh what a Savior!

  10. Constance, I’m so thankful you stopped by to read my blog so I could get a delicious after Thanksgiving treat in reading your lovely blog about God’s love and thanksgiving! Isn’t this a wonderful phrase to read on a bench, “Express Love Clearly.” And surely God does this oh so well. I’m reminded how life is ever-changing but God is our only constant. And how deep and high and wide that love is!

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