On Sunday we discussed a missional spiritual practice that is quite unique. The giving of thanks.
In Leviticus 7:15 we read an odd verse. A verse that talks about eating all the meat of a sacrificed cow in one day. The meat that is sacrificed in a thanksgiving offering must be consumed on the same day. Embedded in this odd verse is a community shaping practice. Because the only way you can eat a whole cow in one day…is with a whole community…
So what would happen is simple. God would provide for you in some way, and out of thanks you’d sacrifice a cow. You’d give back to God, but then you’d be required to give back to the community because you wouldn’t be able to consume the whole cow in a day. So you’d invite family, friends, and neighbors over for a party. You’d provide all the food, and a giant feast. But it wouldn’t be about just spreading good food around, but also deep gratitude for God. Because the natural question for everyone there would be “Why the party?” And when they would ask you would share what God had done in your life. You’d share how God provided, and all of a sudden thankfulness is spreading through the community, God’s activity moves from private to public, and people have an opportunity to be changed through a party.
Isn’t that a beautiful thing?
That God would think of such a process? That he would ensure that his people would throw parties full of thanksgiving and praise to him?
What if we actually took this verse seriously and when God did things in our lives we reached out to our friends, family, and neighbors with an invitation to a party – where we shared the good things God has done?
Wouldn’t that start to change people?
What if your neighbors consistently were invited to great parties, where people were celebrating how Jesus has changed and impacted their lives? Wouldn’t you want to join in the party, the celebration, and maybe even following this God? What if generosity, gratitude, and grace became the hallmarks of being a Christian? Wouldn’t this type of living change our communities?
I think it would.
So my challenge to you this week is simple. Plan a party. Throw a party. Invite everyone, and give thanks to God. Because as Leviticus says, all the meat must be eaten the same day. Or in other words, celebrate God’s goodness by throwing a party and sharing grace with others. It’s a simple action, but sometimes the simplest ones are the most powerful.
Big Idea: Giving thanks means thanking God and sharing it with others
- “If weren’t not thankful for the small things, we won’t be thankful for the large things” Estonian Proverb
- Gratitude to God isn’t to be kept private but shared in public.
- For Jewish people all of life is gift…so do you appreciate the gifts around you?
- Biblically we demonstrate our thanks by throwing a party (Lev. 7:13)
Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stood out to you from this morning’s talk? What made you laugh? What made you think? What was new?How grateful do you think you are as a person? How good are you at seeing and appreciating the gifts of God? What might you be able to give thanks to God for today? Think about throwing a party. Who might you invite? How might it spread grace and gratitude?
Discussion Questions for Young Families: Share with your kids why it is important to give thanks. Spend time talking to them of all the things that you are thankful to God for. Ask them what they are thankful for God for. At a meal this week rather than just “saying grace”. Share what each of you is thankful for.
Challenge for this Week:
Throw a party for your neighbors and share a reason for giving thanks.