At the beginning of Chapter 12 of the Gospel of John we find Jesus about to enter into Jerusalem which would begin the last six days of His life. The city was thronged with people from all over the world who had come to celebrate the Passover and they were celebrating His entrance but the Priests were plotting his death. However, on his way into Jerusalem he passes through Bethany, where his old friend Lazarus lived. He’s the one Jesus raised from the dead earlier in his ministry. A special dinner was held in His honor. Martha served, Mary sat at his feet to listen and learn. Mark tells us that the house belonged to Simon the Leper (14:3). Matthew reveals that the rest of the disciples were there (26:8). So evidently the table was set for at least seventeen. The dinner was a celebration, a “thank you, Jesus” dinner for Lazarus’ resurrection. It was certainly a time of great joy and celebration. It was the first real “Thanksgiving meal.”

Our Thanksgiving day is also celebrated with a great meal! I love Turkey. My whole family loves turkey! We eat turkey every year! I love left-over turkey! I love turkey and gravy! I love turkey and dressing. I love turkey and cranberry sauce. I love turkey and dinner rolls. I love turkey with beans, corn, or peas! I love hot turkey and gravy sandwiches. I love cold turkey sandwiches. I just love turkey. My family scrapbook is filled with pictures of turkeys. They are treated like one of the family. My Dad always insisted that we’d get a picture with us and the turkey before we ate when I was growing up.

Every Thanksgiving is a celebration in God’s honor. Although we seldom prayed at the dinner table, Dad would always say the blessing at Thanksgiving. It was the one meal that we remembered where all the good things in life, especially this turkey, came from! It was a gift from God. I don’t know if Martha served turkey at the celebration in Jesus’ honor, but she should have. This is another great way to say Thank You to God: celebrating with family over the good things God has blessed us with.

“God created food to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” 1 Timothy 4:3-4