Aside from the tasty joy that is pumpkin pie, it is a reminder to me of love and gratitude during the Thanksgiving season. Mostly, because I couldn’t eat Pecan Pie (not pee-can, puh-cahn please), which is much to be preferred.
It was all because of those years of having metal bands wrapped around my teeth and the accompanying rules of braces. Popcorn? No. Gum? No. Pecans? No. Not even in pie? No. But what about Thanksgiving? No. Pumpkin? Sure.
So at our family Thanksgiving there was both pumpkin and pecan pie. I’m not sure many partook of the pecan alternative – although I hasten to say that my mother made a great pumpkin pie. But I did. I had to, if I wanted pie. And I always wanted pie. Still do.
Pumpkin pie became a symbol of Thanksgiving, but also a symbol of love. I’m fairly convinced that had I not been wearing braces all those years (and been a rule-keeper when it came to the food laws of my Orthodontist) there may not have been pumpkin pie on the dessert table. But there it was – an act of love, accommodation, inclusion. It was a catalyst to giving thanks.
The word ‘pumpkin‘ is not in the Bible. Not even in The Message. But a pumpkin is a gourd, and the word ‘gourd’ is mentioned in the Bible four times. In three of those passages the gourds are carved decorations. The other time is in 2 Kings 4 when a stew was made that included some gourds gathered from a field – and it says specifically the servant who gathered them did not know what they were. Turns out they were poisonous and Elijah had to save the day.
Well, none of those Bible verses really makes me think of the warmth, acceptance, and family gratitude that comes to mind when I consider the presence of pumpkin pie in the Thanksgiving celebrations of my childhood. But some verses do make me think of the kind of love that I experienced, and that I hope this holiday brings to your table:
…By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”– John 13:35
…serve one another humbly in love.– Galatians 5:13
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.– Romans 12:10
“One person’s faith allows them to eat anything…”-Romans 14:2
That last one might be the closest Bible verse about pumpkin pie. I wouldn’t be dogmatic about that though. I hope your Thanksgiving Day has some pumpkin pie – some symbol of acceptance, love, care, and service. These are the qualities that make Thanksgiving a family oriented holiday observance.