Not everyone likes turkey. Some find it bland, for others, it’s too dry, and hence the gallons of gravy. But still, it’s a cultural icon, and millions have turkey every Thanksgiving, like it or not.
Why do we sustain cultural traditions? Is it because we find comfort in maintaining certain sacred rites? I get that, especially at holidays.
About 3500 years ago, the slaves marched out of Ramses. The final straw was the death of Egypt’s first-born sons. Tragedy swept through their families and Pharaoh was finished fighting. That night was different for the Hebrews. They painted lamb’s blood on their doors, so death would pass over. The first Passover meal was eaten that night and would continue for generations to come. Those leaving Egypt would die when their time came, but their ancestors would remember. In some ways, the Jewish Passover observance is beautifully similar to the Pilgrims and America’s Thanksgiving observance.
The Hebrew Slaves The Persecuted Pilgrims
- Left for the promise land Left for the new world
- They ate roasted lamb Ate roasted turkey
- Was shared with family Was shared with family
- Passover signified freedom Thanksgiving signified freedom
- Generations annually observed Generations annually observed
God was the beating heart of Passover. He was their providence for the exodus to Canaan, providing water and manna, and the promise of a better life. He was the reason for their freedom. Every year Jewish families gather around the Seder table to remember and to give thanks to Yahweh.
The Pilgrims left their homes to escape persecution and to find a better life. God led them to the new world, blessing them with freedom. It was a life their children’s children would inherit and then leave to their children. If not for our Pilgrim forefathers, we would not be here, would not have freedoms, homes, and perhaps not even know Jesus. So we gather around the Thanksgiving table to remember, and to give thanks to the Lord Jehovah.
Our November holiday was purposed as a national day of thanksgiving and prayer. For believers, gratitude should be fused into our spiritual DNA. This year, let’s practice the grace of gratitude and remember those who sacrificed so much to bring the message of Christ to the new world.
Let’s not make those 45,000,000 turkeys die in vain. Friends, we are free, prosperous, and alive, all at the same time! May God bless you and may He continue to bless this great land of ours. Happy Thanksgiving.