Dr. Marty Seitz – “Thanksgiving through the Ages”
“[T]hey broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God….” – Acts 2:46-47a, NIV
In my opinion, the first thanksgiving was actually the first Passover meal when the Israelites thanked God for saving them from the last plague on the Egyptians. In subsequent Passovers, after crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites celebrated their release from Egyptian slavery with thanksgiving.
In the New Testament, the Last Supper repurposed and fulfilled the Passover. Thereafter, Christians thank God in the Lord’s Supper for freeing them from slavery to sin and death. At Pentecost, the disciples were given the ultimate source of spiritual nurturance and holiness—the Holy Spirit—and ate together with thanksgiving.
The pilgrims came to America, fleeing religious slavery and persecution like the Israelites, crossed the sea, and celebrated a feast of thanksgiving to God with others. I think the pilgrims believed their mission was to be good stewards of Scripture and told their Native American guests about those earlier thanksgivings and about the greatest of all thanksgiving feasts yet to come—the wedding feast of the Lamb and the Church (Rev. 19:7-8).
CORNERSTONE: Holiness, Stewardship, Mission, Scripture
- Dr. Martin Seitz, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences