Thanking Turkeys

A few years ago, a friend posted up the following status on Facebook: “I’m thankful for all the turkeys that sacrificed their lives today.”

My overactive mind went along with the image: years and years ago, a lone, innocent turkey willingly let itself be slaughtered so that two estranged cultures could unite and celebrate together as one family. So that years and years later, families can break bread, remembering the grace of God in our lives. Shed blood that unites everybody…

Wait… what?

The turkey isn’t the reason for the holiday! But we’ve resorted to calling this holiday “Turkey Day”. Earlier this week, Matt Carter, my pastor in Austin, tweeted the following: “I truly dislike the phrase “Turkey Day”. Turkey is a horrible reason to celebrate a holiday. It’s called Thanksgiving….”

Most of us don’t go to this far extreme. Facebook and Twitter exploded today with people being thankful for family, fellowship, football, and of course, food. It really is a great time of laughing, of remembering, and watching football. (Go Cowboys and Longhorns!)

In the midst of it all, remember to thank God for the gift of His Son Jesus, the Christ who redeemed a fallen people and forgives the worst of sins. For the Kingdom that includes both Jew and Gentile, slave and free. For the sacrifice that gives hope to a resurrection.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time,to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might beto the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,to the praise of his glory.

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is calledthe circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who werefar off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”

– Ephesians 1:7-14, 2:11-18

Happy Thanksgiving!

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