Pot Lucks with a History

Thanksgiving is a very American holiday.  It flows not from the text of the Bible but from the pen of the president.   At our place of fellowship we have a Thanksgiving eve event called “Praise & Pies” at which we do those things in order.  That is sing hymns and then eat pie.

How is that Thanksgiving?

Consider this unlikely text in Leviticus 7:11-15.    
    “And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the Lord. [12] If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil. [13] With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread. [14] And from it he shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the Lord. It shall belong to the priest who throws the blood of the peace offerings. [15] And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.”

    It should be remembered that reading Leviticus is like reading an instruction manual.  No one is excited by the manual, nor should they be.  the manual helps you do something else.  Leviticus is an instruction manual for temple worship.  It has a lot of procedural information, but you have to use your imagination to see the real thing.

   The Fellowship or Peace offering could be a totally voluntary gift.  The worshipper presents an animal to be slain.  The fat laden parts are burned on the altar.  Other parts are given to the priests, and the rest is roasted and eaten by the worshipper and, we presume, his family and friends.  Solomon and Hezekiah offered thousands of these sacrifices, which sound terribly wasteful until one realizes that these were offered and eaten by the nation assembled at the Temple.  (I Kings 8:62-66; 2 Chronicles 30:24-27)

   We are talking about something like a bar-b-que or a pot luck.  There, after the offering for sin has been made, was an additional free will offering of gratitude.  The idea was to celebrate.   It was a feast, in the presence of God, with friends.

   So we see life with God goes along with a celebration in community.  all of which was done with food.

   So our church suppers, pot lucks and so forth have this back drop. 

   This Thanksgiving, give thanks, be with friends, dig in.

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