Summary: A sermon for the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
“The Forgotten Holiday”
If we were to mark our calendars according to television commercials, mall decorations, and movies we might figure that some “high official” somewhere, who makes the decisions about things, has decided that we are to just skip Thanksgiving altogether.
Rebecca, our secretary, was telling me that before Halloween she was in Dollar General and heard Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas.”
I mean, back in September or even late August, we all started noticing that everything was being Christma-fied…
…that is, minus a few store isles that were reserved for Halloween candy and costumes.
Before our very eyes: out came the holiday cups, Christmas trees, singing Santa’s, the overly large sweaters hanging in stores, lay away ads and of course, as I said Christmas music!!!
Many folks complain that Christmas has been hijacked and exploited…
…which it has…
…but more about that next month.
So what has happened to Thanksgiving?
There may be some good reasons why Thanksgiving gets the short end of the Holiday stick.
For one, there are no gifts.
For another, Thanksgiving promotes socially acceptable behavior.
I mean, we are not dressing up like ghouls and knocking on people’s doors expecting to be rewarded!!!
We are not putting a large piece of foliage in the middle of our living space.
We are not sticking our heads in overhead lamps and under couches looking for plastic eggs.
We are sitting around a table…eating…like just about every other night.
Even the 4th of July has fireworks!!!
So, we have Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Summer…
…and sandwiched in there is Thanksgiving: that awkward in-between stage.
Could it be, that, in our culture we aren’t so interested in giving thanks?
Or perhaps, we don’t think we have much to give thanks for.
Our Scripture Lesson for this morning is the 100th Psalm which was originally written for the people of Israel.
God had basically said to them, “When you come into the promised land, and settle down in your warm homes, and you have plenty to eat…
…don’t forget Me…
…I led you out of the wilderness and I brought you into a land flowing with milk and honey.”
But Israel needed a lot of reminders, and so do we.
I believe God had us in mind, as well, when this Psalm was written.
Notice to whom it is addressed.
The first verse says that it’s addressed to “all the earth,” and the last says that it includes “all generations.”
It is so important for us, physically, psychologically and spiritually to “give thanks” and therefore this Psalm applies to every person of every generation who has ever lived!!!
Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word Thanksgiving as “a formal public expression of thanks to God.”
And there is something about giving thanks together to God which breaks down barriers between people.
Thanksgiving is something we need!!!