For the kid “Growing Up On Dump Ground Road,” the Thanksgiving meal was always chicken and dressing. The reason for this was clear: turkeys were sold at the store but chickens were free from grandma’s chicken pen next door. Among my zaniest childhood memories were “chicken killing days.” I will skip the graphic details of how the bird lost its head, but I will never forget the sight of the headless chicken flopping around on the ground. My cousins and I would hoop and holler. As youngsters, we were convinced that the chickens were chasing us around the yard. The commotion probably lasted only a few seconds, but it seemed to us to go on forever!
Once the bird stopped moving, the real work began. My grandma had an old, black wash pot out in the yard for the purpose of plucking chickens. If you ever smelled the pungent odor of boiled chicken feathers, you would understand the reason why this was done outdoors. They would build a fire under the pot and wait for the water to boil. Then, the chickens were dipped in the hot water and the feathers were pulled out. The naked bird was then transferred to the kitchen where it was boiled in clean water and cut into pieces. The cooked chicken was deboned and added to the dressing.
You might think that after witnessing this whole process we would have difficulty enjoying the Thanksgiving meal. You would be wrong! The chicken’s life was sacrificed so that we would have food. In fact, we raised the chickens for this very reason. We fed them and cared for them until the time came for them to fulfill their purpose.
In a strange way, this is a depiction of what Christ did for us. Isaiah 53:5 foretold the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus for our benefit: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Christ’s purpose for coming into the world was to suffer and die for us. As you sit down at your table on Thanksgiving Day, remember that the turkey is not the only one who gave up his life so that you might enjoy that time with your family and friends. The Suffering Savior should be on the top of all of our “Praise Lists.”
Serving in love,