|Posted on November 20, 2018 at 11:25 AM|
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
While my father was still alive, we used to take our children to visit him either just before or just after Thanksgiving. Dad was agnostic, in other words, he believed there was a Higher Power out there somewhere just not necessarily the God of the Bible. As a Christian family it was important to us to say grace because we believed God provided our food, even though Dad bought it. My kids would fold their chubby little hands with us and we sang grace thanking God for our food. My dad sat indignantly waiting for us to finish. After we thanked God, we told Dad thank you because he either bought the food at the store or took us out to a restaurant. He never really understood our "strange behavior". He was self-made man, not believing that we needed to bother telling God, "Thank You!" Those who don't know God through Jesus Christ really don't understand the gratitude we have for God's provision, but we do.
Read: 1 Corinthians 10:27-31
Focus Verse: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV
In our passage, Paul addresses Jewish Christians about our freedom in Christ to eat anything with a clear conscience at a non-believer's home. In his time, most of the non-Christians ate meat sacrificed to idols because they participated in the ritual and bought meat sold in the market near the pagan temple. It was a difficult topic for early believers because they did not want to insult God by defiling their bodies with what was sacrificed at the local pagan temple. Paul tells believers to go ahead and eat with non-believers if they want, but simply give thanks to God for it not asking any questions about what they were eating or where it came from. The believers were given a simple instruction: Give thanks to God giving glory to Him with what we eat.
Some of you will spend time with family members who may or may not be believers. It can be just as awkward as it was for us when we shared a meal with my dad. There is no common spiritual fellowship, rather common experiences viewed through totally different worldviews. The non-believers in Paul's day would have believed the meat to be sacred because it came from a sacrifice, but not the Christians. It is the opposite for Christians today. Many families will have distinct differences in how to approach the holiday of Thanksgiving-- Turkey and Football Day, or a blessed day to thank God for all of His provisions throughout the year. We can be a witness for the God of Blessings to non-believiers when we simply take the time to express our gratitude to God because of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!