Sermon Illustrations

One Thanksgiving season a family was seated around their table, looking at the annual holiday bird. From the oldest to the youngest, they were to express their praise. When they came to the five-year-old in the family, he began by looking at the turkey and expressing his thanks to the turkey, saying although he had not tasted it he knew it would be good.

After that rather novel expression of thanksgiving, he began with a more predictable line of credits, thanking his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for buying the turkey.

But then he went beyond that. He joined together a whole hidden multitude of benefactors, linking them with cause and effect. He said, "I thank you for the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. I thank you for the grocery store people who put it in the meat case. I thank you for the farmer who made it fat. I thank you for the man who made the feed. I thank you for those who brought the turkey to the store."

Using his Columbo-like little mind, he traced the turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. And then at the end he solemnly said, "Did I leave anybody out?"

His two-year-older brother, embarrassed by all those proceedings, said, "God." Solemnly and without being flustered at all, the five-year-old said, "I was about to get to him."

Well, isn’t that the question about which we ought to think at Thanksgiving time? Are we really going to get to him this Thanksgiving?

So Thursday is not turkey day, it is not football team day, it is not the great Macy’s Christmas Parade day, it is Thanksgiving Day. National times of feasting and rejoicing were given to Israel by God. The worshipers were to acknowledge him and give him glory.

While Thanksgiving Day in America is not of Biblical origin, it is of Biblical principle. “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24).

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