A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Linda Sommerville
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, there is a verse of Scripture that has been on my mind, and it has me pondering how God may want me to celebrate the holiday this year. The verse comes from a book that many of us may not spend much time in – Leviticus. Sprinkled throughout the instructions on worshiping God found in this Old Testament book, there are passages like the one below that remind us of God’s call to live with generosity and charity toward those who are less fortunate.
Leviticus 23:22 says, “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”
This passage is calling God’s people to leave some of their fields unharvested so foreigners and the poor could experience God’s provision by picking the gleanings, the leftovers, from the fields.
What’s interesting to me is that the reason given for being generous is: “I am the LORD your God.” God’s very nature is love and generosity, and He wants us, as His image-bearers, to freely give to others. In other words, Leviticus reminds us that the worship of God is closely intertwined with how we care for one another, especially “the least of these.”
As we enjoy our Thanksgiving meal this week, I would encourage each of us to consider what gleanings God may call us to share with others who are not as fortunate. In what ways can you pass along the love and generosity of God that He has showered upon each of us? Perhaps the gleanings will be something tangible, like the non-perishable food that so many of you have generously given to the St. Vincent de Paul food bank. Perhaps the gleanings will be sharing your time, calling someone you know who may be experiencing loneliness, grief or loss, and simply sharing the generosity of a listening ear.
This Thanksgiving, may we each remember how generous God has been to us this past year, even in the midst of a global pandemic, and may we pass that generosity along to others as a way of saying “thank you” to God.