Summary: Thanks Giving - what are we thankful for? We are called by scripture to give constatn thanks
This morning I want to perform a small psychological experiment. Don’t worry I am not going to embarrass anyone. All I want you to do is to remember the first thought that comes into your mind when I ask you a question.
Can you believe that this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day?
When I wrote that question down in my preparation time I had an immediate thought.
My first thought was that means it in less than a month to Christmas. Let me clarify that the feeling in the pit of my stomach was not one of joy.
Maybe some of you started hear the count down clock…..
For some it would be all that was necessary for the meal and others how much time before the games start.
Some may have visually flashed onto images of family or empty places.
It may be true that every person in here had a different thought when the question was asked. Thanksgiving is sort of an odd combination of personal and group interactions for most families. That leads me to ask myself a basic question.
Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?
A teacher in an elementary school asked her students that question and these are some of the replies:
Jamie Copley, 7, said people celebrate Thanksgiving because it’s the season where everyone joins together.
Christina McGuire, 7, said, "It’s a good month."
Kam Bowles, 6, said people celebrate Thanksgiving because "it’s a happy day."
"My granny cooks and it’s good," she said.
Bradley Ernsberger, 6, said he celebrates Thanksgiving because he is thankful for a lot of things. "I’m thankful for my friends, my limo ride for selling the most candy, my Superman costume I got to wear at Halloween and my little pumpkin I got," he said.
Selina McGregor, 6, said she knows why people all get together to celebrate on Thanksgiving Day. "It’s a wonderful year and a good time to share all that food," she said. "I love pumpkin pie," she added.
We make Thanksgiving Day about history. We get this wonderful image of pilgrims and Indians gathered around this massive table, covered with food, enjoying a meal together. We make something that is as American as Apple pie and baseball.
Of all the holidays that we celebrate in our culture and even as Christians I believe that Thanksgiving is the most Biblical. Not because you will find a direction in scripture to hold a thanks giving celebration. But because we are actually encouraged to continually give thanks to God.
Our scripture today is a psalm of David which is a Psalm of Thanks Giving.
Psalm 103 (NKJV)
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.
Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
Bless the LORD, all His works, In all places of His dominion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
The psalmist has quite a list of things to be thankful for. Here in America we have a day set aside to be thankful. It seems that even with our current economy and war and state of the nation in general no one has made the suggestion that we just call it off this year.