2 Chronicles 7:8-9
8 At that time Solomon held the feast for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from Lebo-hamath to the Brook of Egypt. 9 And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they had kept the dedication of the altar seven days and the feast seven days.
The dedication of the temple connected with a time of feasting in Israel and amounted to a fifteen-day celebration. It lasted from the eighth to the twenty-second day of the month. In this celebration, the dedication of the temple, the Day of Atonement, and the Festival of Booths all took place.
This time would have been an amazing time to be present. The people likely would have been fed by the meat from the sacrifices. The fat of the animals would have been burned, but there would have been remaining meat that the people could eat together. In sharing in that meat, the people may have felt honored as the guests of a king would have felt honored to share in his banquet.
One thing that we in our own culture do have figured out is that we often eat together to celebrate. This has been a practice since the earliest days of mankind, and it continues. There is something special about gathering together with people around a common purpose, a common joy, and a common table. There is something special in sitting down together to share in a meal of celebration and to do so while giving thanks to God for what he has done.
As the people dedicated the temple, they feasted and celebrated together for15 days. For a full half month, the people set aside their outside concerns and got together with the purpose of enjoying the kindness of the Lord. This is something we could do well to learn to model. While we will not plan any major 15 day celebrations anytime soon, we do have a day, today, in which we will celebrate. Let us learn to celebrate and to celebrate well. Let us eat together and remember how God has blessed us. Let us share what God has given us with others so as to spread around the blessing. When you share your Thanksgiving meal this year, be sure that it really is a meal of giving thanks to the Lord for how he has shared his bounty with you. Even if you are going through hard times, God still has blessed you far beyond anything you could ever imagine.