Summary: 2007 Thanksgiving Sermon
Holidays get interesting don’t they? They bring out the best in people and they also, unfortunately, bring out the worst in people. I’ll have you determine which is true in the following story.
The day before Thanksgiving an elderly man in Phoenix called his son in New York and said to him, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; 45 years of misery is enough. We’re sick of each other, and so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."
Frantic, the son called his sister, who exploded on the phone. "Like heck they’re getting divorced," she shouted, "I’ll take care of this."
She called Phoenix immediately, and said to her father. "You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?"
The man hung up his phone and turned to his wife. "Okay, honey. The kids are coming for Thanksgiving and paying for their flights."
We are also aware that one’s perspective about holidays change as you get older (or as you experience them in your youth). Here is one a teenager’s perspective on Thanksgiving in the form of ‘The Top 15 reasons to be thankful on Thanksgiving.’
15. That someone else kills the turkey and removes those nasty gizzard things from their bodies.
14. That peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches are always a safe stand-by when Uncle Dave’s trying to cook the turkey in the microwave.
13. For conversation about a bunch of distant relatives you don’t know, but you don’t care ’cuz the food’s so good.
12. For a family that loves you, even if Aunt Dorothy can’t stop pinching your cheeks and exclaiming, "My how you’ve grown!"
11. That Thanksgiving is the one time you can eat for 8 hours straight, feel like ya gotta be rolled away from the table, but you keep right on eating.
10. For the crazy relatives who make you laugh right after you put mashed potatoes in your mouth just so they can watch you blow them out your nose.
9. For getting two days of school off even though your teachers gave you so much homework, you’ll never get it done by New Year’s.
8. That this is the one time you don’t have to sit next to your little brother who talks with his mouth full. He’ll sit across from you instead.
7. For that one food dish you never quite know what it is.
6. For finally graduating from the "kids’ table" to the "adults’ table." (I graduated a few years ago.)
5. That there’s always a football game to snooze through, despite the fact you’re sharing a love seat with five of your relatives.
4. For hearing Grandpa pray.
3. That black olives, a.k.a. finger puppets, can add entertainment to any meal.
2. For washing your dishes and those of 14 other relatives.
And the number 1 reason to be thankful on Thanksgiving:
1. That God loves us so much, he gave us a family to love, a turkey to eat, and a Son to save our souls.
Finally, there is the story of the five year old boy who took his turn to express praise and thanksgiving. He began by looking at the turkey and expressing his thanks to the turkey, saying although he had not tasted it he knew it would be good. After that rather novel expression of thanksgiving, he began with a more predictable line of credits, thanking his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for buying the turkey. But then he went beyond that.
He joined together a whole hidden multitude of benefactors, linking them with cause and effect. He said, "I thank you for the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. I thank you for the grocery store people who put it on the shelf. I thank you for the farmer who made it fat. I thank you for the man who made the feed. I thank you for those who brought the turkey to the store."
Using his Columbo-like little mind, he traced the turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. And then at the end he solemnly said "Did I leave anybody out?"
His 2-year-older brother, embarrassed by all those proceedings, said, "God." Solemnly and without being flustered at all, the 5-year-old said, "I was about to get to him."
What are you grateful for today? Having an attitude of gratitude is a very important thing to have and not just this time of year but every day of every year that we live here on earth.
Having an attitude of gratitude is a very, very Biblical way of counteracting the often overwhelming despair and cynicism of our day. In being grateful to God for His grace and mercy in our lives, we know that we have the ability to go on and move forward in spite of.