Again, it may seem pretty obvious why gratitude is part of Christianity. Yet, we might not have ever looked at this in the context of worship before. In a way, it’s but an extension of the honor aspect of worship. If we are truly being honorable towards God, we’re certainly not going to be ingrates about it. Yet, there is value in being deliberate and formal with offerings of thanks, and treating it as worship certainly can do that. One way they did this back in Biblical times was with something called a fellowship offering. (Leviticus 3 & 7:11-34) It was about giving thanks to God, and it involved a communal meal. Sound familiar? I’m sure the very Biblically literate pilgrims had the fellowship offering in mind when they had that first Thanksgiving. Too bad most people have forgotten the origin and purpose of it these days. This also illustrates how the four purposes of Church overlap, as mentioned before; in this case, fellowship merging with worship. Yet, the current church tends to think of fellowship as something independent of, and less important than worship. I’d encourage you to remember this next time you go to church. I’d also ask that you make a mental note of this next Thanksgiving. To NOT just go through the motions of the traditional meal as a stepping stone to all the Christmas sales. Rather treat it as an act of gratitude and worship of God, as we should.
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. -Deuteronomy 8:17-18