Summary: A Thanksgiving sermon focusing on God’s grace... that he calls us and saves us without us having to be perfect first.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. for the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

"Why Doesn’t My Thanksgiving Look Like the One on TV?"

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Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I’m telling you in advance, so you don’t act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won’t be coming, we’ve made a few small changes at our house:

Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect. Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I’ve gotten William involved in the decorating by having him track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was his idea.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.

Martha Stewart would be disappointed that we don’t have a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. We’ve also decided against a formal seating arrangement with hand painted name tags. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table… in a separate room... next door.

Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it.

No… Martha Stewart will NOT be dining with us this Thanksgiving. She probably won’t come next year either. I am thankful.

We may be taken aback, angered, frustrated, or even filled with rage… that our Thanksgiving doesn’t look like the perfectly orchestrated ones on TV. Our Thanksgivings are filled with imperfections… filled with disappointments… filled with shattered expectations. But why should it be any other way? We are human… we are filled with imperfections… we are imperfect beings.

Yet, we should see this as the greatest reason to give thanks on thanksgiving. Look at how much we mess up… look at how imperfect we are… look at how much we fail… yet we have a God who we call Lord, we have a God who loves us, we have a God who make us part of his flock. Despite our failings, despite our imperfections, we have a God who died for us, who rose for us, who ascending into heaven for us, who continues to pray for us. And this should give us great joy… for we cannot live up to the expectations of a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving… but with a God like ours… the greatest news of all… is that we don’t have to. And for this we should all give much thanks.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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