Summary: Sermon preached at Community Wide Thanksgiving Service
COMMUNITY WIDE THANKSGIVING SERVICE
We are much like the little boy who was given an orange by a man. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?” The little boy thought and handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.” Cute little story but the truth is that many of us have forgotten to thank God for the things He has blessed us with. Tonight we are going to be reading Psalms 100:1-100:5.
I believe that it is one of the most beautiful Psalms of thanksgiving ever written. Listen to the words as I read it. ‘Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know the Lord is god. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.’
No matter how hard you try, it seems impossible to avoid big dinners at Thanksgiving. At Thanksgiving, it is just way too hard to not eat too much. After all, it is a time to be thankful, and one of the things we as Americans are thankful for is the abundant blessings we have of food. And I promise you that this Thanksgiving I will have my fair share of Turkey and Dressing and I will be very thankful for that. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
Many of you this Thanksgiving will be hosting banquets at your home, or going to other people’s homes to eat there. Some of you might even decide to do both! And between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we will have eaten ourselves through a whole year’s worth of cholesterol, which means we all have a major New Year’s Resolution to make on January 1st.
As far as Thanksgiving is concerned, I truly believe that America is a nation that has been abundantly blessed by God Almighty. And, of all the people in the world who thank God for His blessings, America should be the one doing the most thanking. It is a normal occurrence to draw up a “Wish List” for Christmas and a list of resolutions for the New Year. But there is another list that we often forget to write. It is a list of the reasons we should feel thankful.
I’m convinced that if we began to make a list, we would find that we have much more for which to be thankful than we at first realize. Like you, I’m sure my list would include the major things - life, health, family, friends, & the nation we live in, despite all the chaos some are stirring up.
What I am most thankful for though is that God loved me enough to wait for me. And that He loved me enough to let His Son die physically so that I wouldn’t have to die spiritually. And with Jesus in my heart, I have so very much to be thankful for. We truly are a privileged people, aren’t we?
But has it ever occurred to you that no Americans were more underprivileged than that small handful from the Mayflower who started the custom of giving thanks to God for blessings? These people had no homes, no central heat, and no transportation. Their food supply depended on that day’s harvest, and they had to go reap it for themselves, because they had no Homeland Grocery, Reasor’s Grocery, or Smith’s Grocery down on the corner. They had the least of all Americans, but they gave the most thanks of all Americans. Nobody would have even thought that they were underprivileged.
Now, considering the fact that they had so little in most areas, what did they have that they were so thankful for. They had a willingness to work hard, an absolute faith in the Lord, they had courage, and they had the initiative to put all this together and make it work.
Yes, it is true. Our forefathers did believe in God Almighty as the head of this country. And they even took the time to thank Him for giving them the blessings that they had. To hear of people who had next to nothing openly thanking God for everything they had seems strange today, doesn’t it?
It seems especially strange since there are forces at work in this country today that are trying to strip us of every mention of God. From trying to get the words “In God We Trust” off all money to every federal building. There is another suit in federal courts trying to get every cross off all federally owned land. And that includes the cross headstones at Arlington cemetery where all of our veterans are buried. Trying to remove the 10 Commandments out of Court Houses and trying to taking “One division Under God” out of our pledge. Church this country was founded with God at the center of it and slowly but surely He is completely being taken out. Let me just say this about that. The day when those words are taken from our government, and the day that those crosses are removed will be the same day that I believe this country falls once and for all.