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« Hope as We Celebrate Thanksgiving | Main | The Point Radio: Shopping for Christmas »

November 27, 2008

’Be Joyful at your Feast’

Jim_tonkowich Jim Tonkowich, BreakPoint's managing editor before Dave the Swede took over, is now the president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy. He sent out a Thanksgiving email yesterday, a portion of which I'ld like to share with Point readers. Jim writes:

The Feast of the Tabernacles is the great Old Testament harvest feast. The instructions about Tabernacles in Deuteronomy contain one of my favorite commandments in the Bible, "Be joyful at your Feast" (Deuteronomy 16:14).

The passage does not seem to allow any exceptions. God's people were to gather each year--regardless of how good or bad the harvest (their economy) happened to be--and were commanded to feast and be joyful as they reflected on the goodness of God toward them.

A good thought for today--a day on which Americans set aside a time of thanksgiving for God's blessings on us. Or, at least, that's what we're supposed to do; many mis-educated children apparently think the purpose of the first Thanksgiving was to thank the Indians for helping them out, and the purpose today is to eat turkey, watch football, and put up with annoying relatives.

Although the Pilgrims set aside three days to thank God for a great harvest, they also honored God during the years when the harvest was not so great--just as the ancient Israelites did.

Knowing what a fabulous cook Jim is, I can't help wondering about the details of his own feast. Jim: Okay if Brent and I stop by on Friday for leftovers?

(Image © IRD)

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