Much of the day so far has been spent in the kitchen. It's Thanksgiving Day and as each year on this day, there's a big bird to prep; bread and cookies going in the oven (pie was done yesterday); there will be sides to prep; and of course we needed some breakfast and snacks to tide us over until everything's ready in the middle of the afternoon. And it's not just this way at Thanksgiving. Other holidays may not be centered around food quite like Thanksgiving, but food is still a key element of their celebration. And not just holidays. Fellowship dinners, having friends over, family meals, parties, open houses, receptions, showers. None of these work without food.
Why food? Is it because we are gluttons and an entirely too flabby society. Maybe partially, but I don't think that's it. Because the Pilgrims and Indians had a big meal together? Perhaps. But I think it goes deeper than that. Food is so important because God designed this great gift for us to enjoy. God could have made food to merely sustain us - bland, flavorless, colorless slop (think, The Matrix). If the only purpose of food was to meet our physical needs, that's all we would need. It's kind of like sex. If all it was for is procreation, God could have made it dull, pleasureless, and boring. But he didn't. He made it exhilarating. (Make sure you teach your kids this side of sex too...the good; not just warning them about the perversion of it.) And so with food. I don't have to tell you about the variety, textures, flavors. That's why you've been in the kitchen all morning. The goodness of food is an expression of the goodness of God! (Of course good food can be abused just like God's good gift of sex. I'm not advocating gluttony...)
So throughout God's revelation to us, what do we find? Food. It's everywhere. A key element in the festivals of Israel was food. Sometime do a word study on "feast" in your Bible. Passover was accompanied by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Israel also celebrated the Feast of First Fruits, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, and Feast of Booths. The Promised Land was described as flowing with milk and honey. Jesus gathered with disciples, friends, and sinners around food. In the new covenant, there's the Lord's Supper. Eternity is pictured as a wedding feast. Isaiah 25:6 "On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined." (ESV)
How fitting, then, is a day of feasting for a day of thanksgiving?! Food really is a tie that binds us together as family and friends and children of the living God. Psalm 100:4-5 "Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." (ESV) One of the ways we know he's good? Food. Enjoy yours today!
Today and next week are quotes from Thomas Watson's The Ten Commandments. I've quoted from this work before in this space. These quotes are regarding how to pray in preparation for the Sabbath.
The things we should pray for in the morning of the Sabbath. Let us beg a blessing upon the word which is to be preached; that it may be a savour of life to us; that by it our minds may be more illuminated, our corruptions more weakened, and our stock of grace more increased. Let us pray that God's special presence may be with us, that our hearts may burn within us while God speaks, that we may receive the word into meek and humble hearts, and that we may submit to it, and bring forth fruits. James 1:21. Nor should we only pray for ourselves, but for others. (The Ten Commandments, p. 106)
Here's more from Thomas Watson on how to pray in preparing for the Sabbath. You can find the first portion of the quote in last week's post.
Pray for him who dispenses the word; that his tongue may be touched with a coal from God's altar; that God would warm his heart who is to help to warm others. Your prayers may be a means to quicken the minister. Some complain they find no benefit by the word preached; perhaps they did not pray for their minister as they should. Prayer is like the whetting and sharpening of an instrument, which makes it cut better. Pray with and for your family. Yea, pray for all the congregations that meet on this day in the fear of the Lord; that the dew of the Spirit may fall with the manna of the word; that some souls may be converted, and others strengthened; that gospel ordinances may be continued, and have no restraint put upon them. These are the things we should pray for. The tree of mercy will not drop its fruit, unless it be shaken by the hand of prayer. (The Ten Commandments, p. 106)
This hymn is meant to be sung at the start of worship, but I don't think you'll have much trouble applying it to preparation for worship on the Lord's Day. Trinity Hymnal, Baptist Edition 312.
Lord Jesus Christ, be present now,
After a few weeks away, here's one last Friday Fragments. I'm retiring this feature that has been fairly regular since April/May of this year. I still plan to post links and kindle deals of interest on Facebook and/or Twitter. I suppose Friday Fragments may make an occasional reappearance if there's a week just full of good stuff to share. For a regular round up of interesting posts and kindle deals you can check out Tim Challies' A La Carte which is posted daily Monday-Saturday or David Murray's Check Out which is posted on Fridays. Thanks for reading!
Tonight, I simply want to point you to a wonderful summary of God's Word regarding the Sabbath, written by Tom Hicks, Jr. It is written specifically for the church where he pastors, but it is very helpful for any church. I'd urge you to give it a read! Thank you, Tom!
God's blessings to each of you as you gather for worship tomorrow.
Don't forget that Daylight Savings Time ends tonight! I've quoted here from Thomas Watson's The Ten Commandments. Tonight here's another excerpt from his treatment of the 4th commandment. This is in a section where he talks about how to "dress your souls for hearing the word." We dress our bodies each day; let's dress our souls as well that we might be ready to receive the truth of God's Word tomorrow!
Meditating on a Lord's-day morning on Christ's love, would kindle love in our hearts to him. How can we look on his bleeding and dying for us, and our hearts not be warmed with love to him? Love is the soul of religion, the purest affection. It is not rivers of oil, but sparks of love that Christ values...while we are musing of Christ's love in redeeming us, the fire of our love will burn towards him; and then the Christian is in a blessed Sabbath-frame, when, like a seraphim, he is burning in love to Christ. (p. 105)
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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