by Sheri Schofield
It’s harvest time in America. Pumpkins overflow the grocery stores’ produce areas. Wheat is reaped for baking in the year ahead. Rosy apples, satiny-smooth plums, and all those delicious garden vegetables are everywhere. Giant zucchinis appear as though by magic on doorsteps…and in one’s car if one forgets to lock the doors!
Thanksgiving is near! Families gather to eat, share their lives, and watch football. Many times the only remembrance of God is said at the blessing. In many homes, even this is omitted. As this day approaches, we have an incredible opportunity to redeem Thanksgiving and turn it into a great blessing for our families and friends. With a little bit of planning, we can make a memory that will impact those in our homes that day.
Consider the first Thanksgiving: On the Hebrew calendar, harvest marks the Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths, when Israel celebrates the blessings God has given them. It is a time of joy and celebration, a time of thanksgiving for how God has blessed them. It is a time of prayer, repentance from sin, and petitions for blessings in the coming year. It also looks forward to the coming Messiah.
Moses wrote: “Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your feast – you, your sons and daughters… For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete” (Deuteronomy 16:13-15, NIV).
When America was founded, the settlers also celebrated with a time of feasting at the end of harvest, thanking God for all he had provided, and asking for his continued blessing. Presidents down through the years would sometimes call for days of thanksgiving to refocus the nation on God and his blessings.
During the terrible days of the Civil War, in which an estimated 620,000 men died, Abraham Lincoln called upon the nation to give thanks to God, who had blessed the harvest. He wrote in part:
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
Then Abraham Lincoln established a permanent Thanksgiving Day. Yes, in the midst of all that grief! He turned America’s attention back to God, their Creator, in whose name they had established this nation.
Once again, America finds itself in the midst of great civil unrest. As Thanksgiving approaches, our spiritual leaders have urgently called upon us to repent, to turn from our selfish pursuits, to seek God with all our hearts. For our nation is in grave danger of destruction because of our sins. In our time of national desperation, with our nation on the brink, consider the full scope of God’s week of thanksgiving. Let it be both a time of repentance and a time of celebration, for the sake of our country’s future.
Ask the Lord what activities you can do to re-focus your family on God on this special day. Do you want to re-enact the Feast of Tabernacles? Or the first Thanksgiving Day in America? Could you have everyone write down how God has blessed them this past year and put it in a memory book? With a little creativity, you may spark something awesome in someone’s life. This can be a Thanksgiving like never before: It can be the beginning of revival!
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1 NIV
 The Return: Keynote, Word to America, the Potter’s Jar (Rabbi Jonathan Cahn) September 26, 2020.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.
Join the Conversation: In these days of Covid, what have you found to be thankful for?