Summary: Thanksgiving sermon. Thankful for: prosperity, family/friends, Church, Christ, and heaven.
Title: 5 Grains of Corn
Text: Col 3:15-17
The Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock over 375 years ago
knew nothing of the prosperity, which we enjoy today.
During that first winter,
they dug 7 times as many graves for the dead
as they built homes for the living.
Half of their number died the first year.
A second ship was to bring food and relief to the settlers, but when they arrived, they brought 35 additional people—meaning more people to feed; but not any additional provisions.
It is touching to see the picture of William Brewster,
rising from dinner, which had been clams and a glass of water,
to thank God for the “abundance of the sea and the treasures hid in the sand”.
The Pilgrims has very little, but they had a great attitude.
It was this spirit and attitude...
that formed a foundation for the beginnings of a new country.
The people were strong, devout, and sincere.
They loved God and worshipped God.
This recognition of God is what has made America great.
Gratitude is one of the greatest Christian virtues.
Ingratitude is one of the most hideous sins.
Thankfulness is a mark of genuine Christianity.
Pilgrims, in the years following that first years
had a custom of putting 5 grains of corn on each empty plate before a thanksgiving dinner.
The father, mother, children, and guests
would each pick up a grain of corn
and tell what they were thankful for.
The significance of the 5 grains of corn was to remind them of their forefathers . . .
those first Pilgrims,
who were living in such difficult circumstances that their daily allowance for each person in the community was 5 grains of corn.
This morning, I would like to share with you what my 5 grains of corn would represent.
My first grain of corn would stand for prosperity
We have physical blessings in bountiful supply.
God’s mercy has been poured out on us beyond measure.
The soil in most sections of our land has given forth produce with abundance.
We live in better homes
have more conveniences
and eat better than most people of the world.
Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth”
We can also use the words of the Psalmist,
“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits" Psalms 103:1-2 (NIV)
"Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits" Psalms 68:19 (NKJV)
How often have we tried to list the things that we are thankful for:
The conveniences of life.
But, if I thank God for enough money to meet my needs . . .
am I implying that the person who doesn’t have enough money for his needs may have a legitimate criticism against God?
If I thank God for the harvest and overflowing cupboards,
am I implying that the 2/3 of the world that goes to bed hungry each night can blame God for their predicament?
If I thank God for the health that I enjoy,
what about the person who’s health is broken?
Do they have a right to blame God?
Obviously the answers to these questions is no.
Look back to our forefathers, the Pilgrims.
With their families dying left and right,
literally suffering from starvation and disease,
they took time to thank the Lord.
The key for us in this thanksgiving service
is that we must come to the understanding that our greatest reason for thanks is the spiritual blessings that come to all people.
So then, whether in good health or poor health;
whether in good harvest or poor harvest;
whether in plenty or in hunger;
Whether in distress or in blessing;
WE CAN THANK GOD!
All people are able to praise Him.
Isn’t that what Paul meant in Philippians when he said,
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
We need to thank God for our prosperity,
but let me get on to the other 4 grains of corn.
My second grain of corn stands for Family/Friends.
I have a wonderful Christian wife who loves me (and that is no small feat).
I have 4 living healthy children that are well-behaved (for the most part).
I have Christian parents who raised me and prayed for me
and I have them to thank, in large part,
for where I am today spiritually.
I have a brother and sister that I love.
I have friends that are important to me.
I have been able to easily make new friends.
I have lived here for a year and a half, and already I have developed some very close friendships.