Summary: This thanksgiving open your eyes to God’s blessings
Sermon: "Blinded by Stuffing" Jn 6:25-35 November 18, 2001
I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. Can you believe it, it is only three days until thanksgiving - and for those of you with children that’s means its only 37 days to Christmas. Did you know that America’s first thanksgiving was in 1621 it was a three day celebration of feasting and recreation. I don’t know about you by sometimes after thanksgiving lunch I feel like I have feasted for three days.
Well anyway the prior year for the Pilgrims has been a tough and they had lost almost have of the colonist. But by the second harvest there was reason to rejoice. A peace treaty had signed with the Indians. The Indians had taught the pilgrim how to plant and grow things resulting in a bumper crop. So they choose to commemorate their bounty with a harvest festival, hence the first thanksgiving.
It was served buffet style; dishes of food were placed on the table and guests helped themselves. There were no forks, only knives, spoons, and large napkins that were used to pick up hot foods and to tidy the face and fingers. Foods could be eaten directly from the serving dish or you could share a trencher(a wooden plate) with someone. Food was plentiful but you’re never going to believe this, most accounts of the actual event never mention that there turkey or pumpkin pie. And yet that is the hole basis of our holiday. I mean 91% of all Americans are going to be eating Turkey on Thursday as a way of reenacting the first thanksgiving but their wasn’t any turkey there on the first thanksgiving. But…there was stuffing, apparently all kinds of stuffing
Now I always thought there was only one kind of stuffing - stove top. I mean stuffing is stuffing, right?! Well I learned this week stuffing varies by region of the country. There’s Midwest Sausage and dried cherry stuffing, mid Atlantic crab boil stuffing, Oyster bacon stuffing. Chili and corn stuffing…but that’s not all, the list goes on and on. There’s broccoli stuffing, crawfish and creole stuffing, spinach stuffing - and believe it or not prune stuffing - I bet you don’t stay stuffed with that stuffing long.
Well of all the Thanksgiving traditions stuffing may be the only one we, Americans have gotten right. But the problem is that it is the wrong kind of stuffing. I’m not talking about stuffing the turkey but the stuffing of ourselves. Think for a moment of your Thanksgivings of the past. How much time on those days of "Thanksgiving" did you actually offer up thanks, thanks for the abundance of blessings you and I receive every day. I’ll be honest. We have attempted to focus on thanks but somewhere along the way we have become blinded by stuffing. Blind to giving thanks to God for all that he has done for us. We spend if we are gracious maybe 30 minutes of the day thanking God and the rest of the time eating our way to nap - I mean football time. And the thanks in thanksgiving is forgotten.
BUT… we are not the first generation to be blinded by stuffing. Let’s look at our text today. Turn with me if you will to John 6:25. Bob read this for us a little while ago.
I. Note the context in which this story takes place
A. Jesus’ Ministry had begun
1. Popularity had spread
2. everywhere he went he was followed by crowds
3. on one such occasion - on the hillside 5000 - five loaves and two fish
B. After the miracle
1. Jesus went up the mountain to be alone and pray
2. disciples boat to Capernum
3. storm and Jesus goes to the disciples - with another miraculous display of his might.
4. together they arrive presumably about dawn
II. The Hebrew People
A. The wake up and find Jesus gone
1. knows Jesus didn’t go with disciples
2. but no where to be found
3. later in day fishermen arrive tell Jesus is in Capernum
a) doesn’t make sense
b) but okay no big deal
4. people go to find Jesus
B. They find Jesus
1. a little perplexed a little curious - verse 25 and 26
2. The crowd having been satisfied once by what Jesus had done for them wanted him to do more - maybe he give them some more free meals, more healings, more blessings, more miracles
3. But Jesus refused to respond their selfish desires for more of the material satisfaction he could bring and so his response was in effect
a) "You were so busy eating your fill you never even saw me… Even now you come because of food because your bellies are hungry again not because you seek me