Summary: Gifts of Thanksgiving
I want you to know I am thankful…I am thankful that we only elect presidents once every four years – even though we have to watch their political ads for ever. I am thankful that teenagers will grow up and have children of their own who will become teenagers. I am thankful that the space available for messages on T-shirts and bumpers is limited. I am thankful that TVs, radios, CD players and mp3 players can be turned off. I am thankful that I have a huge heating bill because it means I have warm shelter. I am thankful for piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. I am thankful that hugs and kisses do not add weight or cause cancer. I am thankful that God’s love never fails and I am thankful that we can come together this evening in unity.
And yet I am somehow struck by the oddity of us gathering here together in this place to celebrate the thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is a secular event. It was instituted by our government not by God, though it did have religious overtones. But, n
o where in scripture did God ever say on the 3rd Thursday of November you should gather together with your family and eat until you are miserable and then you retire to your recliner to watch a group of men in colorful spandex fight over a pig skin.
Thanksgiving is really recognizing our dependence upon God
Recognizing he is the giver of all things
Accepting that what has been given is for the harvest not for you
Working like the harvest is dependent upon you - planting watering, hoeing, taking the time
That their might be a harvest of thanksgiving in others – who recognized their dependence upon God’s indescribable gift of his son.
God supplies the seed and bread – provides everything – thanks giving is making a list of all you have; the focus is wrong. The focus is on me, what I have, the focus is on us what we have...The Thanksgiving Holiday is a secular holiday. God didn’t say once a year, he said as Christians we should have an attitude of gratitude all the time. The thanksgiving that scripture talks about is realizing our dependence upon God – it is truly recognizing and knowing that God is the provider of all things. Now let me ask you think about your holiday traditions, the food you fix the family and friends – how much of your day and your focus is on your dependence upon God. The holiday isn’t about focusing on dependence.
God doesn’t what your list of thanks because he made you rich not for your self instead he made you rich – and don’t forget you are rich ---that you might be generous on every occasion….Every occasion – this is part of the sowing…it is a planting, working and growing for the purpose of Harvesting Thanksgiving – helping others to realize, accept and praise God for their dependence upon him, recognition of his surpassing grace….thanks for his indescribable gift. God gives us resources to use and invest for him. Paul uses the illustration of seed to explain that the resources God gives us are not to be hidden, foolishly devoured or thrown away. Instead they should be cultivated in order to produce more crops. When we invest what God has given us in his wor, he will provide us with even more to give in his service.
We should not expect to grow wealthy in giving. Those who receive your gifts will be helped, will praise God and will pray for you. As you bless others, you will be blessed.