Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Tradition

I confess to being a bit of a holiday worrier. I worry that Fourth of July celebrations are too much about fireworks and hot dogs and not enough about remembering the sacrifices of so many and the freedoms we enjoy. I worry that Easter and Christmas celebrations are often more about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, materialism and chocolate than about Jesus. And I worry that Thanksgiving celebrations are too much about gluttony, football, and Black Friday shopping.

These were my thoughts last year when I remembered a scripture story from Joshua 4. The Lord was about to deliver Jericho to the Israelites. But first He instructed them to gather up 12 stones from the Jordan River (which He had just parted for them to cross over, just as He had the Red Sea in Moses' time). He then gave this instruction:

"That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever."

God wanted the Israelites to remember and teach their children the mighty miracles He had performed for them. Today, we want our children to remember the mighty miracles and blessings God has given to our forebears and to us.

So for a week or two around Thanksgiving we pass this bowl of 12 stones around the table at each meal. Each person removes a stone and says one thing they're grateful for, and we keep going till the bowl is empty. For us, it is a joyful tradition of remembering what God gave the Israelites, the Pilgrims, and us. We have so much to be thankful for.

No comments:

Post a Comment