Summary: A Thanksgiving Sermon
25 ¶ "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’
32 For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.RSV
Grace and Peace to you from Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
It was a cold, clear Wednesday night in the big city. The night before Thanksgiving. He was pushing an old, beat up shopping cart along a back alley. It was filled with discarded clothes, old newspapers, and a couple of cans of food. He didn’t look any better. He wore several layers of clothes, all of them filthy and full of holes. His hair was long and matted, he had a scraggly beard, and what little you could see of his face was covered in dirt and grease.
Nobody knew his name, but the kids had started calling him "Hobo Bob." He would wander through the streets digging through trash cans, begging the odd quarter off of strangers. He didn’t bother anyone, so people didn’t bother him.
That cold, clear night before thanksgiving, "Hobo Bob" was just wandering through the alleys, looking for a corner he could sleep in that would shelter him from the cold. He had no interest in celebrating Thanksgiving. He had nothing to be Thankful for, and no God to give thanks too. How could he believe in God, when God had let this happen to him.
But then, floating on the air, came the faint strains of a Pipe Organ playing a hymn that was familiar to him. He slowly pushed his cart toward the sound, and found himself standing in front of a church. On the sign out in front of the church it said, "Community Thanksgiving Service, Wednesday Night, 7:30 p.m. Everyone Welcome." "Hobo Bob" just stood their transfixed by the music.
The Office was quiet. The lights were off. Except for a desk lamp glaring brightly in one cubicle. You could hear the quiet hum of the cooling fan in a computer, the clickety-clack of a keyboard. Everyone had gone home for the Thanksgiving Holiday, except for Maria. She knew her boss wouldn’t be back until Monday, but if she could finish this report and personally hand it to him first thing Monday morning, maybe she could win that promotion she’d been competing for.
The strain on Maria’s eyes was getting to her, her fingers were cramping. She decided to go outside and take a walk in the cool November air before she finished the report. As the door to the office closed behind her, the phone rang. A child’s voice came over the answering machine. "Mommy, when are you coming home? You promised we could have dinner with Grandma tonight."
As Maria walked along the street in front of her office building, she too heard the faint strains of a Pipe Organ playing a hymn she knew from her childhood. Slowly she walked toward the sound till she came to a church. The sign out front read, "Community Thanksgiving Service, Wednesday Night, 7:30 p.m. Everyone Welcome." She just stood there next to "Hobo Bob," transfixed by the music.
Mai Ling had been raised a Buddhist and she was very faithful to it’s teachings and traditions. But her parents had also taught her to tolerate and respect people of other religions. Even so, when she moved to America with her husband, she had a hard time respecting the Christian religion. In a country that was supposed to be founded on Christian principles, people didn’t seem to take their religion seriously. Here it was Thanksgiving, a holiday that was supposed to honor God for all his blessings. And yet her co-workers called it Turkey Day. They bragged about how they would stuff themselves with food and then sit in front of a T.V. and watch parades or football. How could she respect a religion that had commercialized it’s Holy Days? She had no interest in celebrating Thanksgiving.