The only time I eat turkey and pumpkin pie is at Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is one of the few times a year when our extended family is together without much of an agenda other than enjoying each other’s company. It is also a time to stop and give thanks to God for His blessings over the past year.
The fellowship offering was unique for ancient Israel (read also Lev. 7:11–34). It could be an offering from any animal from the herd or flock without defect (vv. 1, 6). It was also the only offering where only a portion of it was consumed on the altar or by the priest. Most of the offering was enjoyed as a meal by the worshiper (7:15). Meat was expensive and would not have been an everyday food in ancient Israel. So, presenting a fellowship offering was a time of joyful celebration as the whole family would enjoy a meal together.
I can imagine how excited children would be when they found out they were going as a family to offer a fellowship offering. This offering was given as an expression of thanksgiving (7:12, 15), for the fulfillment of a vow, or as a spontaneous freewill offering (7:16). This offering was a way for people in Israel to have table fellowship with each other in the presence of God.
The order of the sacrifices in Leviticus is also significant. The whole burnt offering was presented first. That offering was for atonement for sin. The whole burnt offering made the fellowship offering possible. Only when sin has been atoned for can we have fellowship with God. That is one of the reasons this offering is joyful. In the New Testament, Jesus’ death on the cross provided our once-for-all atonement for sin, so we can enjoy fellowship with God.
>> Even though it is April, why not have a special meal of thanksgiving? Give thanks to God for what He has done. Celebrate His love and goodness together!
Father, thank You for admitting us into fellowship with You! Thank You for creating us with the capacity for relating to others. Thank You for endowing us with love and affection for You and for Your creation.