Summary: A sermon for Thanksgiving on being thankful for the most basic things of life (Outline and Title taken from George Boose in his book, "Sermons for Seniors")
One time a teacher was talking about the 7 wonders of the ancient world. After this lesson, she wanted to stretch the thinking of her pupils even further. This creative teacher asked her class to vote upon what they would consider to be the seven wonders of the world. As she tallied the votes the teacher was very pleased by the results. The top 7 vote getters were the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Great Wall of China. The teacher was pleased. This was a list reflecting good thought and a sound knowledge of the world.
Suddenly, the teacher recognized that one little girl hadn’t turned in a ballot. She asked her, “Mary, are you having trouble with your list?” Mary quitely replied, “Yes, I can’t decide, there are so many.’ Realizing that the girl had written something on the paper, the teacher persisted, “Well, just tell me what you have so far.” Mary hesitated and then said, “I think the seven wonders of the world are to touch, to taste, to see, to hear, to run, to laugh and to love.” The teacher was speechless. Mary had captured with the innocence of her years the true wonders of life- wonderous gifts from God.
Mary’s list is composed of common, everyday things that we take for granted. By labeling them the wonders of the world helps us gain a greater appreciation of just how richly God has blest us. Each of the little girl’s wonders are mentioned in the Bible.
Thesis: Let’s talk about these wonders for Thanksgiving
“And wherever he went--into villages, towns or countryside--they placed the sick in the market-places. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.” Mark 6:56, NIV.
More precious are the times when Jesus touched others. “A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.” Mark 1:40-42, NIV.
Researchers have found that animals deprived of touch develop serious physical and behavioral problems. Other studies show that premature infants who are touched grow heavier and healthier than those who are not. Diane Ackerman says, “In the absence of touching and being touched, people of all ages can sicken and grow touch starved.
Jesus used touch to heal, although he didn’t have to. He was able with a word to make the afflicted well and the crippled whole. Even so, he included touch as part of his miracles.
Manna- “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.” Exodus 16:31, NIV. “They cooked it in a pot or made it into cakes. And it tasted like something made with olive oil.” Numbers 11:8, NIV.
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2, 3, NIV.
A newborn baby craves the milk he knows he needs desperately, and it’s a desperate craving, and there’s nothing else that’ll satisfy. Babies may be weak but not in the voice. God gave them strong voices so they can tell us they want milk now! That’s the way it ought to be with us. We need to recognize we have a need. As Christians, we have tasted that the Lord is good. We want more of that. Man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
“Having said this, he spat on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” John 9:6, 7, NIV.
“Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”” John 9:39, NIV.
Fanny Crosby is probably the most prolific hymnist in history. Though blind at six weeks of age, she wrote over 8,000 hymns. When Fanny Crosby was old, someone said to her that, if she had been born in that day, an operation could have restored her sight. Instead of being upset, Miss Crosby said, "I don't know that I would change anything. Do you know that the first thing I'm ever going to see is the face of Jesus?"