Isaiah 1:13 “Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings— meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more! Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!” (The Message Bible)
OK, so the translator is trying to make these ancient words more contemporary by focusing on meetings. Compare it with an older or more literal translation and it sounds different. The point isn’t that they have too many meetings; the point is that their structure and ceremony was focused on the external, the actions they were executing rather than God for which they were supposedly acting. And so we come to Thanksgiving with all the parades and football and turkey and family. Thanksgiving is a secular holiday with religious overtones; “George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, ‘as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God’” (Wikipedia) and rescheduled slightly from the last to the fourth Thursday of November by Franklin Roosevelt to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. Churches seldom hold Thanksgiving services now-a-days. It’s nice to be thankful but to whom are we thankful and for what? So that’s it. Will your Thanksgiving be a “trivial religious game?” This week, to whom are you thankful and for what?