Summary: General thanksgiving message.
This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving! Do you ever wonder, when Thanksgiving Day is over if you ever remembered to be thankful?
Or is it more like this video?
(Forget Something? Video from Sermon Central)
Let’s read some of the “leaves” on the Thanksgiving Tree
(We have a Thanksgiving Tree where people write their Thanks on paper leaves and hang them on the branches of the tree)
Are there any praises of Thanksgiving today?
What are you thankful for? (Open to the congregation)
Psalm 100 (NASB)
“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.
“Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.
Why would the people of Israel want to “shout joyfully to the LORD” or “come before Him with joyful singing” or “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”?
In Deuteronomy 16:16 (NASB), God commanded the Israelites:
“Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths ...”
Three times each year all the men and usually at least part of their families would journey to Jerusalem for a feast. Try to imagine it! Those in the farthest outlying districts would be virtually alone as they started toward Jerusalem and the Temple. As they got closer to Jerusalem there would be more people on the road, groups would join up and conversations would start. Perhaps you would meet some folks you had traveled with on previous occasions.
And, the closer you got the more people there would be until just outside of the city you would be in a mass of celebrants headed to the feast with all of the offerings and sacrifices. You would be able to see the city and the temple from a distance because they are raised up on a mountain and the excitement would start to grow. Once the climb to the city of Jerusalem was accomplished there would be the final climb to the Temple mount.
Can you imagine the excitement? Going to the great festival in Jerusalem? It would be awesome! We can see an example of this in Luke chapter 2 where Jesus accompanies His mother and Joseph to Jerusalem for the Passover. And afterward when they headed home there was such a crowd that they did not even notice that Jesus was missing for a full day and were not able to locate Him in Jerusalem for three days! What excitement!
Going to the City of God, Jerusalem. Going to the great Temple where the Ark of the Covenant sets in the Holy of Holies! Making sacrifices for the forgiveness of sin. How awesome!
Or, would it be like this for you?
I can’t believe it! It’s already time for another trip to Jerusalem? When we went last time the lamb was undercooked and the unleavened bread was not gluten free! My feet hurt from all that walking and that priest didn’t even shake my hand after the sacrifice! Do we have to go again???