Bread of Heaven
It is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The roots of our Thanksgiving Day are traditionally traced to a 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation. In the Fall of that year the Plymouth settlers held a harvest feast thanking God for a successful growing season and for sustaining the lives of those who survived that first harsh New England winter.
Historical accounts may differ somewhat, but it is generally shared that participants in the first Thanksgiving, included approximately 50 individuals who were on the Mayflower when it landed from England (survivors of the first year); and about 90 local Native Americans from the Wampanoag Tribe. The celebration lasted for three days. A prominent participant was Squanto, of the Pawtuxet Tribe, who had learned English and was a convert to Christianity.
Over the years, various US Presidents, such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, declared days of Thanksgiving and historically it was observed on a regular basis. However, on November 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed a bill, for the first time making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law and fixing the day as the fourth Thursday of November.
The day was originally set aside to thank our Creator God for providing His blessings to us as individuals and a nation. Today, some may view the day differently than the original purpose. To them it is simply the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television; followed by non-stop football, interrupted at half time with the BIG MEAL—turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and additional family favorites, topped off with a glob of whip cream on their pumpkin pie.
However, for me, today is a day to thank God for His blessings of salvation, hope and yes, daily provisions and needs of life. Also, some of us have lost loved ones to death the past few months; or family members are too far away to visit; so there are empty chairs at our table this year. But I am thanking God for the promise of the resurrection and once again sitting together around God’s table in Heaven.
But as we enjoy family time and eat our meal together, I am reminded of the lyrics of a song that a few years back were sang in many youth groups and congregations. Remember the words… Bread of Heaven fill me till I want no more…today being Thanksgiving Day, those lyrics come back to my mind once again. The lyrics continue,
Speaking clearly to my heart,
hope and wisdom You impart.
I’ve been tested and subdued,
but Thy Word shall bring me through.
Yes, today, remember Jesus, the Living Word, the Bread of Life, when you bow your head and join hands at your dinner table.
“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”…”I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:33, 35.