The whole month of October we will be focussing the Devotional on Thanksgiving, on being thankful, and on gratitude. Each day as you pray and read the Scriptures, write down on these Devotional pages three things for which you are thankful. These three things can be simple things like “Thank You God for today’s coffee” or “Thank You God for the phone call from the Church” or “Thank You God that I can pick up that pen that I dropped on the floor”.
Tuesday 1 October
Prayer: Divine Healer, release from us all disagreements and conflicts, pain and sadness, grief and anger. Through Your Most Holy Spirit, instill within our hearts and souls and bodies Your love and Your strength, Your healing and Your wisdom. Thank You O Lord for the life You have given to us this day. May we live out our lives today with You. Amen.
Read Leviticus 7: 11 - 15
We begin our meditations this month in the Old Testament. When we think of Thanksgiving in this era we think of the celebration in October where we surround ourselves with friends and family over a meal of turkey and cranberries and pumpkin pie.
Yet, in the Old Testament, thanksgiving was an offering placed before God. In Leviticus, the opening chapters are an instruction book for the people of the various sacrifices and when the sacrifices should be offered. The opening chapters also give instructions for the priest on their tasking of what to do with each sacrifice and offering. The Old Testament peoples offered offerings not only to ask God for forgiveness but to become closer to God. Offering sacrifices and offerings also helped the people take hold of their responsibilities for identifying their bad actions and then asking God for forgiveness.
There are five distinct types of offerings. Burnt offerings, grain offerings, peace offerings (which included thank offerings), sin offerings, and guilt offerings. The Thank Offering is the type of offering we learn about in today’s reading. A thank offering was usually given in fulfillment of a vow, as an act of piety, or as an action of thankfulness. The stuff used for a thank offering was unleavened cakes or unleavened wafers mixed with oil or a cake made of oil and fine flour and then fried. Besides these cakes/wafers, the person also offered leavened bread.
Don’t you find it interesting that the thanksgiving offering and our celebration of thanksgiving involves food? Food is at the centre of our being. Food keeps us healthy. Food is also something we share with others. We join together over a meal with family and friends. This is called “fellowship”. As Christians we join together over a common meal of bread and grape juice in Communion.
This day as you eat your breakfast and elevensies (or second breakfast) and lunch and coffee break and dinner (or supper depending where you live), remember that the love of God is celebrated each time we eat our food. Remember to lift up to God in prayer, your thankfulness for the food that is before you this day.
The three things I am thankful for today are:
Prayer: Divine Healer and Almighty God, we know that You abide with us. We know that You rejoice in us. We know that You suffer for us. We know that You heal us. We know that You awaken our souls and delight in our ways. We know that You can transform us to being the person You would have us be if we just listen for Your voice. We know that with You we can share our thanksfullness with the world this day. Amen.