Sermon shared by Tim Zingale
Summary: A sermon for Thanksgiving
Audience: General adults
When Claude got home, he picked up the worn-out shoes, worn out from skipping rope, kicking rocks, and jumping puddles, and he went off to be by himself. Kneeling by his bed he gave thanks to God for the worn-out shoes in his house. "
Claude was thankful for the deliverance he had been granted, his children could walk, run and skip rope. They could wear out a pair of shoes. Claude had been delivered from the pain of the other family who could not watch their child run, kick rocks, jump and wear out shoes. Have you been thankful for the deliverance which has been granted in your life ??
Think about all the food each of us will consume tomorrow ?? Are you thankful you have been delivered from the pain of hunger, the sickness of malnutrition when countless men, women and children around the world are now dying a slow and painful death because of the lack of food ??
A housewife as she worked around her house, began to think about all those things she had been delivered, even as she tackled all the household chores many get tired of doing.
Listen to her thoughts: "Lord, thank You for this sink of dirty dishes, we have good food to eat. Thank you for this pile of dirty laundry, we have nice clothes to wear. I’d like to thank You for these unmade beds, they were all comfortable last night."
She was thankful in the midst of her work, because she knew in her heart she had been delivered from hunger. She was delivered from the extremes of the elements with the clothes waiting to be washed. She was delivered from a fitful night sleep as she slept in a warm house and a comfortable bed.
Thankful hearts come as we recall all those acts of deliverance which God brought into our lives. We can and should be thankful for these acts. But, I venture to say, most people take their good fortune, their health, their wealth, their warm clothes, and hardy food for granted or see them as their due. They are not thankful, but expect this as something owed to them by life or by God. It is not owed, but given freely from God. When we realize that everything in life, those things we have been delivered from, and those things we do possess, all come from God, we have a very difficult time being thankful, because we realize we depend on God for everything. And most of us, even if we don’t want to admit it, are self-centered enough not to want to be depend on anyone, let alone God.
Paul Tillich, a famous theologian of our times says this about thanks and thanksgiving. "The reason most of us do not respond to ’thank you’ or do not say ’thank you’ is because we instinctively realize that it makes us somehow dependent on that person. If I thank you, I am saying that I am dependent on you, and I am publicly affirming it before God and people. Gratitude is an action that has its roots in grace, the free undeserved love-action of God. When we are truly grateful, we become starkly aware that we are wholly dependent for everything upon God and upon our fellow human beings who are made in His image. When we are truly grateful, we recognize that God has favored us, whether we deserve favoring no not."
Thanksgiving is our acknowledgement that we are dependent on God for all His acts of deliverance and all His blessings in our lives.
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