Turkey…I mean Thanksgiving day is almost here. And to be honest, I cannot wait to dig into some homemade Puerto Rican food with mi familia. We’ll have some turkey however I am looking forward to the pasteles, perneil and morcilla. WORD! I’m gonna gobble (pun intended) that mug down. I’ll probably end up gaining like eight pounds that day.
In addition to all the delicious Latin food, traditionally, we go around the table and challenge each other to a game of Rock Band. Can you imagine grandma rocking out to some Aerosmith…smh. I’m just kidding there’s no rock band challenge…we normally go around the table and share what we are thankful for. It’s a cool moment, an intimate one…that I’m sure many of you do too.
Being thankful for what God has blessed us with is certainly appropriate however the blessings themselves should not determine our thanksgiving instead it should be determined by who God is. In chapter 12 of the book of Hebrews the writer (probably Luke or Paul—scholars are not sure) is encouraging Jewish Christians that are probably wavering in their faith in Jesus (Hebrews 2:1-4; 4:12-13; 6:4-8; 10:26-31; 12:25-29) due to the persecution they are facing (Hebrews 10:32-34) to offer God a “sacrifice of praise” with their lips (Hebrews 13:15), New Testament style. This is very different from what they were used to. Normally there would be an animal sacrifice. The writer goes on to tell them to “profess his name.” Other translations may word it this way, “giving thanks to His name” (NKJV).
In the original language “giving thanks” is translated to acknowledge or confess who God is. That is very different to giving thanks for what we “have” or what He has “done” in our lives. We should offer our sacrifice of praise whether or not we have those “blessings” i.e. fresh kicks, great job, nice house. Our thanksgiving should be determined by who GOD is and NOT determined by what we have. David articulated this well, he noted that God is: his strength; his rock; his fortress; his deliverer; his refuge; his shield; his salvation; his stronghold (Psalm 18:1-3).
As we are giving thanks to the Lord our God for the New York Yankees, Google and an incredibly delicious perneil let’s not forget to acknowledge who He is. Our thanksgiving is an act of worship, a sacrifice of praise…one that is pleasing to our God, our salvation.
Let’s gobble! 😉