Summary: A Thanksgiving sermon focusing on God’s kindness in Jesus Christ.
- Stacey and I will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary this Friday. It seems like just 5 years ago we got married. Like most people, we got married on a Saturday. It happened to be the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Following our honeymoon, we made our way to Kansas to spend the holidays with George, Scott, Corey and Brent who happen to be Stacey’s father and three older brothers. You can imagine how awkward it was... let’s just say, older brothers live for moments like those.
- But what I will remember most about that Thanksgiving was sitting down at the Banquet table for the first time with my new bride. And what made most special was that at the table sat my new family. No longer was I an outsider, I was now family. And I couldn’t be more thankful.
- Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about. Sitting around the table, with family and friends and giving thanks for the blessings of God. From the first Thanksgiving to today, this is certainly a special time of the year. And what a special time we will share in just a little bit as this Church Family will gather around the banquet table. No one will be an outsider, all will sit as an important member of this family, and for that I couldn’t be more thankful.
- Well, deep in the crusty, unread pages of your OT sits a beautiful story. It’s not read much, but it should be. In the story we find a kind king, a bountiful banquet and someone who couldn’t be more thankful.
- The King was King David. The Second King of Israel, you’ll remember. He took over after King Saul, the 1st King, died in battle. And King Saul had a son named Jonathon. Jonathon would have taken the throne after his father, but he too died in the same battle. Now David and Jonathon were boyhood buddies. They frequently played pranks on the neighborhood kids, they stayed up late talking about girls, and dreamed of the future. Jonathon even saved David’s life once. And David couldn’t be more thankful for that.
- But now Jonathon was dead, and after a series of events that you can read about in I and II Samuel, David was the king. And he was a kind king, a grateful king. And one day he was reminiscing about his friendship with Jonathon. Thinking back on all the good times they had together, and David remember that shortly before Jonathon had saved his life, he had made a request, it went something like this...
"Show me unfailing kindness like that of the Lord as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family- not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth." (I Sam 20:14-15)
- And David decided that it was time to fulfill that promise, that request made of his best friend, his brother Jonathon. So he went to a servant who used to work for the former King Saul, and he asked this servant if there was anyone still alive from Saul’s family. And the servant told David there was a son who was still alive, a son of Jonathon.
- "But," the servant said, "you might want to know something about him. He’s, well, how I do I put this... he’s crippled in both feet." In other words, he can’t walk very fast, he can’t run. He won’t be of any use to you. He’s really not worth much. "Just thought you should know, oh Kind King."
- His name was Mephibosheth (try saying that 10 times real fast). Now, when Mephibosheth was only 5 years old, his father Jonathon and his grandfather Saul died. You remember me mentioning that earlier. And when they died, the nanny who was taking care of the 5 year old Mephibosheth became afraid for her life, so she ran. And as she was running for her life, she dropped poor Mephiboseth on the ground. I’d say she was fired! The result was permanent, irreversible damage to the young boys legs. He was crippled in both feet.
- I think about poor Mephibosheth and I’m reminded of my weaknesses. Maybe you are reminded of yours. I think about all the things I don’t have, all the abilities I am lacking. Not only that, but when I think about poor Mephibosheth, I think about the cruelties of life. Here you have a boy who was in line to be a King. After King Saul, it would be Jonathon, and then after King Jonathon it would be King Mephiboseth. How perfect for him!
- But then life happened. In one day, his life was forever altered. In one day, his grandfather dies, his father dies, and he is left crippled which means he can’t be King. So much can change in one day, can’t it. A loved one dies, the doctor delivers the bad news, the check bounces two or three times, the divorce papers are issued. So much can happen in life that can strip us of our thankfulness. Even to the point that we don’t feel like gathering around that table. It doesn’t seem fair! It doesn’t seem right! What is there to be thankful for anyway! And it happens, the cruelties of life suck the gratefulness right out of our hearts.