Summary: A sermon for thanksgiving day, based on Deuteronomy 26:1-11 highlighting 4 areas of our lives we can thank God for.
(a story of being thankful for something positive)
Rudyard Kipling was a great writer and poet. Many people enjoy reading The Jungle Book. Kipling, unlike many older writers was able to enjoy his success and his money.
Apparently one day a journalist approached him and said, "Mr. Kipling, I just read that the money you make from your writing works out to be over a hundred dollars a word; Mr. Kipling raised his eyebrows and said, "Really, I certainly wasn’t aware of that."
The journalist then reached into his pocket and pulled out a one hundred dollar bill and gave it to Kipling and said, "Here’s a hundred dollar note, now Mr. Kipling give me one of your hundred dollar words."
Rudyard Kipling looked at that hundred dollar note carfully, then put it in his pocket and said, "Thanks."
It is easy to be thankful for good things
But what about when we are living amongst difficult situations
Throughout scripture we see situations when people are thankful for the blessings they receive during their difficulties and even as a result of difficulties
Listen to St Paul speaking to us through 2 Corinthians chapter 2 verse 10
"That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong..."
(story of being thankful during difficult situations)
There is the story of a lady who had just completed university
She had been offered a job with an accounting firm
She is a mother of three who were at the time were 12, 15 and 18
but just before she takes up the position she has a regular check up and her doctor discovers she has cancer
not long after this her husband leaves her
Her oldest son is frequently in trouble with the police
On some days she was so tired and lathergic
That she spent most of the day in bed
And yet she was still able to say
I am not necessarily thankful for the having cancer, but i am thankful for the time I have now have to listen to my children
to spend time with family and friends
and my loving God
So what are you thankful for?
What can you think of that you are thankful for God for?
Over the next two or three minutes you are invited to share with the people next to you what are some things you are thankful for and why? This does not have to be elaborate....
(after 3 minutes)
There are many things to be thankful for aren’t there
Some things are obvious others are not
In our reading from Deuteronomy 26:1-11
It becomes apparent that there are many things that we can thankful God for.
In verse 5 we hear
Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous.
A wandering Aramean
In otherwords a person who didn’t fit in
Wasn’t at home
In your life
Do you ever feel out of place?
Feel confused….a little lost
Well the good thing is that even amongst those times of confusion and being lost God suprises you
Amongst the messes we live in God is still at work bringing about many good things that we can be thankful for
Despite being lost the wandering Aramean, became a great nation, powerful and numerous
Be thankful that our life doesn’t need to be in order or perfect to experience some of God’s blessings
But staying lost and confused is a problem
Listen to verse 6
But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to harsh labor.
Now to understand the problem of hard work we need to jump into Exodus chapter 5:1-5
Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh
and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’”
Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.”
Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”
But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!” 5Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.”
The problem with hard work is when it prevents people spending time with God