Iowa was blessed with a very mild November this year and I am so thankful for the extra weeks of warmth. The first real cold days arrived this weekend, reminding me that we are in Iowa in November. Like a lot of others I waited until the day before the cold was to arrive to finish all my winterizing. It was wonderful to spend a 75 degree day putting away my flower pots, pulling the dead flowers, covering the grill and outdoor furniture and watering the new trees for the last time. I even put up my shepherd and sheep Christmas display while it was warm. I'll plug it in after Thanksgiving.
We have enjoyed pleasant Thanksgiving Days in the past but they seemed to be a respite from an otherwise cold November. There have been many times when the football was tossed around outside on a sunny Thanksgiving. But I also remember an icy Thanksgiving when driving was treacherous. We still have a fine looking pumpkin sitting on the front step as a reminder of the bountiful harvest season just past.
The act of Thanksgiving was not original to the Pilgrims or Native Americans. Thanksgiving was included as part of the fellowship offering required in Old Testament times.
"These are the regulations for the fellowship offering a person may present to the Lord: If he offers it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering he is to offer cakes of bread made without yeast and mixed with oil, wafers made without yeast and spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour well-kneaded and mixed with oil. Along with his fellowship offering of thanksgiving he is to present an offering with cakes of bread made with yeast. He is to bring one of each kind as an offering, a contribution to the Lord;" (Leviticus 7:11-14 NIV).
Though we no longer need to present specific offerings to God because Jesus Christ was the sacrificial offering once and for all, we still gather together on Thanksgiving to give God the glory for all the blessings we enjoy. We prepare the special feast and join around the table, thanking God for good health, good harvest, wonderful family, and special friends. While the traditional turkey is prepared, the vegetables and dressing are made, and the salads are stirred, our thoughts are on the freedoms we enjoy in America, the life we are able to live, and the peace we look forward to in eternity with our Savior.
May our hearts be overflowing with thankfulness as we ready our homes for this special holiday.