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The Truth About Gratitude


Sermon shared by Aaron Burgess

November 2003
Summary: This is a Thanksgiving Sermon given last year. The day before Thanksgiving last year a member of our worship team died from injuries in a car accident. Judi Heffner was killed by a reckless driver and so we gave thanks on this Sunday to God for Judi.
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Audience: General adults
The Truth About Gratitude
Various Passages

Someone sent me this poem entitled “The Turkey Story”:
When I was a young turkey, new to the coop
My big brother Mike took me out on the stoop
Then he sat me down, and he spoke real slow
And he told me there was something that I had to know
His look and his tone I will always remember
When he told me of the horrors of..... Black November

"Come about August, now listen to me
Each day you’ll get six meals instead of just three
And soon you’ll be thick, where once you were thin
And you’ll grow a big rubbery thing under your chin
And then one morning, when you’re warm in your bed
In will burst the farmer’s wife, and hack off your head

Then she’ll pluck out all your feathers so you’re bald ’n pink,
And scoop out all your insides and leave ya lyin’ in the sink;
And then comes the worst part" he said not bluffing,
She’ll open you up and pack your rear with stuffing

Well, the rest of his words were too grim to repeat
I sat on the stoop like a winged piece of meat
And decided on the spot that to avoid being cooked
I’d have to lay low and remain overlooked

I began a new diet of nuts and granola
High-roughage salads, juice and diet cola
And as they ate pastries, chocolates and crepes
I stayed in my room doing Jane Fonda tapes
I maintained my weight of two pounds and a half

And tried not to notice when the bigger birds laughed
But ’twas I who was laughing, under my breath
As they chomped and they chewed ever closer to death
And sure enough when Black November rolled around
I was the last turkey left in the entire compound

So now I’m a pet in the farmer’s wife’s lap
I haven’t a worry, so I eat and I nap
She held me today, while sewing and humming
She smiled and said "Christmas is coming."

Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Did you take some time to give thanks to God? That’s what Thanksgiving’s for isn’t? A little boy was asked what he was thankful for at thanksgiving? And he said, “I’m thankful I’m not the turkey.” Do you know what the mother turkey said to her disobedient children? She said, “If your father could see you now, he’d turn over in his gravy!”

I don’t think people take Thanksgiving serious enough. It is sort of a holiday that comes and goes and we eat some turkey and pumpkin pie and we go our way and we never stop and thank God. Skip Heitzig says the English words think and thank have similar roots. If you stop and think about what God has done, you have to thank him. But often we don’t stop and think. Therefore we don’t thank.

If you look up the word thankful in the dictionary you read, thankful -“the state of being conscious of benefit received.” In order to be thankful you must be conscious, you must think.

In Luke 17 we read of ten lepers who received healing from Jesus ; who didn’t think to thank Jesus . Their ingratitude terribly disturbed Jesus .

Luke 17:12 reads, “As Jesus was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘ Jesus , Master have pity on us!’ When Jesus saw them, he said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them when he saw he was healed, came back praising God in a loud voice.

He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked him and he was a Samaritan. Jesus
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