Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
What are you thankful for? How do you express it to God? Is Thanksgiving a time of thankfulness for you? Or is it just another holiday to plan for - another gathering that brings more stress than joy? Do you spend more time focusing on the menu than you do on all the things God has done for you?
When it comes to Thanksgiving, the Amish take a cue from the Pilgrims and fast. The fasting begins after dinner the night before, and lasts until the big meal, usually served around noon. The women prepare the meal during the time - no tasting allowed! The fasting applies mainly to the baptized church members. For children, the fasting is optional. . . . Before eating, the Amish family gathers together in the morning for devotions and talks about what they're thankful for.
A roasted turkey is often the centerpiece of the meal; rather than purchase frozen birds, many Amish raise their own or purchase them from neighbors. They may also serve mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables, salads, breads, noodles, and pie.
After dinner, it's not uncommon for the Amish to sing German hymns, taking time to give thanks to God through music. Remember that sung music is the one kind of music allowed by the Ordnung - there are no instruments in Amish homes or churches.
Think about how you can bring more thankfulness into your Thanksgiving celebration. True Thanksgiving is a matter of the heart, not a date on the calendar. It finds a moment of stillness to praise God in the midst of busyness. Thanksgiving makes God the centerpiece of the celebration. When you are truly thankful, you aren't afraid to lift your voice in song: "Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name" (Psalm 100:4).
"Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day."
- Attributed to Robert Caspar Lintner
- Taken from The One Year Book of Amish Peace by Tricia Goyer