First Fruits and Tithes

Last Sunday of Pentecost/Thanksgiving Sunday
Scripture: Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Thanksgiving has become an American institution with ritual foods and the pardoning of the turkey, and Inter-faith civic prayer services and serving dinner for the homeless. This national holiday dates back to 1862 when President Lincoln proclaimed it as a national day of thanks. It was intended as a day of unity among the north and the south. It was a day of thanksgiving in the midst of a bloody civil war.

Thanksgiving is something that should be our vocation constantly 365 days a year, but few among us are naturally thankful for our many blessings that the Lord has given us. Thus we need to be reminded daily to be constantly thankful for the multitude of blessings that we have. Thankful people need to express a attitude of gratitude for blessings that we have as the people of God.
Our text from Deuteronomy is a demonstration of our gratitude unto the Lord for His daily blessings. Everything we have in material goods has only been given to us to make this life a blessing. That is why we don’t take anything with us when we leave this world.

Our thanksgiving gatherings are not just gatherings of friends and family members to stuff our tummies with fattening foods and drinks. It should be a time that is set aside from our daily activities to pause, and reflect on the gracious love of our heavenly Father who through our sweat,blood and tears has built this great nation, giving thanks for all our blessings where the hands and heart of god has guided us and directed us.

Like his people who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before entering the promise land, do we grasp the fruits of a gracious god who blesses our humble effort? On the first day of thanksgiving, they broke bread and sipped wine, giving thanks to the Lord for watching over them.
Are we so comfortable with ourselves and our life style that we can’t pause and give thanks unto the Lord not only for ourselves and all others? For we live in a free nation under the umbrella of a Loving God who has reached down from above to care for us. Now can we reach out and touch others that they may feel his presence as we feel it and give thanks not just on Thanksgiving but each and every day of our lives.

Let us pause for a moment or 2 setting in silence, reflecting on God’s love and blessings in our lives as we share in Holy Communion today.