Blaze Orange hung outside? Check.
Gigantic turkey thawing inside? Check.
Stretchy pants available for your backside? Check.
If you’ve been asking yourself questions like these, you must be getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in Wisconsin.
There is something nostalgic about the idea of enjoying the company of loved ones while enjoying a banquet of food. Why is that? Can’t you almost smell the pumpkin pie? Hear the sound of the kids laughing? Feel the warmth of grandma’s hug? See the chair where grandpa will be sleeping after dinner?
Why does this scene cause an entire nation to interrupt their regular routines to gather with friends and family around a feast?
Our hearts long for this because we have been created in the image of God. God loves to celebrate, feast, and enjoy the company of His people. When we experience a good meal with good friends, we have the opportunity to see a glimpse of Jesus Himself.
While our memories and expectations for Thanksgiving may be filled with nostalgia, the reality can often be filled with disappointment. Can’t you almost smell a pumpkin pie burning? Hear the kids on the verge of screaming? Miss feeling the warmth of grandma’s hug?
Thanksgiving like the rest of this life is an odd mix of joy and pain, laughter and tears, hope and anxiety.
Because we have been created in the image of God, we have the opportunity to experience deep joy in the things that bring joy to God. But because we live in a world that has fallen away from God, we experience the pain of the things that push us away from God. Thankfully, Jesus was pushed as far away from God as possible – when He died on the cross. In that one sacrificial act, Jesus brought those of us who were far from God, back to God.
A Thanksgiving feast, in many ways, is an echo of the Kingdom that is coming.
One day, we will feast at the heavenly banquet with Jesus and His people in paradise. On that day, there will be no crying, no pain, no memories to miss, and no burnt pumpkin pies! It will be perfect.
Did you know that this feast is being prepared right now? The joy and the pain of Thanksgiving is a longing that God has placed in our hearts to continually remind us that we were created for something more than this world.
We were created for Him.
And through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, we have the ability to be brought near to God and other people. For this, we will be eternally thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Celebrate well!