Sermons

Summary: REAL RELATIONSHIPS CALL US TO GIVE THANKS!

A RELATIONSHIP OF GIVING THANKS

I CHRONICLES 16: 7-36

NOVEMBER 21, 2004

INTRODUCTION: FIRST HARVEST

In 1621, Edward Winslow, one of the fifty or so members of the Plymouth colony, wrote these words, describing the first harvest festival:

"Our harvest of corn came in well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian Corn, and our Barley crop was also good, but our crop of peas wasn’t worth the gathering – they were sown too late, and although they came up very well and blossomed, the sun parched them in the blossom. Once our harvest was brought in, our Governor sent four men out to hunt fowl, in order that we might have a special celebration, rejoicing together over the fruit of our labors. Those four hunters, in one day, killed enough fowl to feed our Company for almost a week. We were joined, in our celebration, by many Indians: the great Indian King Massasoyt, along with some ninety Indian men, joined us for three days of entertainment and feasting. The Indians themselves went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the Plantation and gave as gifts to our Governor, and to our Captain, and others. And although our harvests are not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish that you could be partakers of our plenty."

SOURCE: Fr. Jim Cook, St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Shawnee, KS. http://www.stlukes.net/recent_sermons/Thanksgiving_Day_Sermon_C_2001.htm

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TRANSITION THOUGHT: AS WE CONTINUE TO THIINK ABOUT BEING A REAL CHURCH, I WANT US TO CONTINUE EXPLORING THIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD OUR FATHER AND WITH OTHERS. TODAY I WANT US TO THINK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING THANKS TO GOD FOR ALL HE HAS DONE, IS DOING, AND WILL DO FOR OUR BENEFIT AND FOR HIS GLORY. OUR TEXT FOR TODAY IS A SUPREME EXAMPLE OF THE WHY AND HOW OF GIVING THANKS TO GOD. I BELIEVE THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER FOR US WILL BE THAT ALL WHO TRULY KNOW THE LORD REALIZE ALL WE HAVE TO BE THANKFUL FOR!

THESIS SENTENCE: REAL RELATIONSHIPS CALL US TO GIVE THANKS!

I. GIVING THANKS IS A CELEBRATION (PRINCIPLE?)

A. A CELEBRATION IS A FAMILY AFFAIR: ALL OF ISRAEL 15: 3, 25, 28; AND 16: 2-3 (THEN AND NOW)

ILLUSTRATION: GRATITUDE- A NECESSARY ATTITUDE

A few years ago Dr. Nick Stinnett of the University of Nebraska conducted a group of studies called the "Family Strengths Research Project"

Stinnett and his researchers identified six qualities that make for strong families. The first quality and one of the most important to be found in strong families was the quality of appreciation. Families that are strong are strong in part, Dr. Stinnett concludes, because family members express to each other their appreciation for what the other members DO and for who they ARE.

In a similar study another researcher looked into the effect of praise in the workplace.

His study showed that the ratio of praise to criticism in the workplace needs to be four to one before employees feel that there is a balance - that there must be four times as much praise as there is criticism before they feel good about their work and about the environment they work in.

That is pretty staggering information - information that tells us that if we want to do something good, that if we want to have a healthy family, a strong workplace, or any other effective group that we need to be sure that appreciation, praise, and thanksgiving are heard at least four times as often as is criticism.

SOURCE: Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 1998, 2001. "Gratitude - A Necessary Attitude" http://www.rockies.net/~spirit/sermons/c-thansesn.html

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B. A CELEBRATION IS A PARTY: MUSICIANS, CHOIRS, SHOUTS, HORNS, TRUMPETS, CYMBALS, LYRES, HARPS AND DANCING, AND FOOD 15: 19, 27, 28, 29; 16: 3, 9, 23 (THEN AND NOW)

C. A CELEBRATION IS A PSALM OF THANKS: 16:7 (THEN! now?)

ILLUSTRATION: THANKFUL TO WHOM?

Harriet Martineau was an atheist. One morning she & a Christian friend stepped out into the glories of a beautiful fall morning. As Harriet saw the brilliant sun peaking through the haze, & the frost on the meadow, & the brightly colored leaves making their way lazily to the ground, she was filled with the beauty & burst forth with "I am so thankful. I’m just so grateful for it all." And her believing friend asked, "Grateful to whom, my dear?"

Contributed by: Aaron Burgess

TRUTH: GIVING THANKS IS A CALL TO CELEBRATE!

QUESTION: DO WE MOURN OR CELEBRATE GIVING THANKS?

II. GIVING THANKS IS A TIME TO REMEMBER (PRINCIPLE?)

A. REMEMBERING IS WONDERS AND MIRACLES: WHAT GOD HAS DONE V. 12, 19-22 (THEN AND NOW)

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