“Moving” Traditions

On this eve of Thanksgiving, from the conversation around our dinner table to once again hearing Linus’ reflections at Charlie Brown’s table of friends, I (Mark) found my thoughts trailing back to the realities of the first Thanksgiving feast. In taking a break from peeling a big pile of one of the 500+ varieties of potatoes in Peru, I would like to share some of these thoughts in this space with the hope that we all might be “moved.”

This first feast was characterized by a gathering of families in a bigger family following after God in His mission to share His good news of a new world to come. More than preserving what was, there was anticipation and action toward what would be, by God’s grace, a new world in time and space on the way to the new heaven and new earth to come. Their gratitude flowed out of their obedient response to God’s faithfulness in this vision through tremendous sacrifice and hardship.

Thanksgiving traditions are special. We all move through life into new traditions and “miss” the ones left behind, especially the people we shared them with. Yet hope remains. May our current traditions “move” us forward in the way of the very first Thanksgiving traditions, namely being God’s family of families (nations) “moved” by His faithfulness and the hope of His new world.

We are thankful that you have “moved” with us into a new setting where we have the privilege of sharing the background of Thanksgiving with new friends from different nations. There is a special anticipation inside of us for the couple of multi-cultural gatherings that we will experience over the next few days to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Greater still is our daily anticipation of gratefully acting out on earth the realities of God’s faithfulness in “moving” all of us into the new world of His new creation in Christ Jesus. This Thanksgiving, may all of us be so “moved” to give thanks and obey in His tradition.