Sunday Sermon Notes: November 18, 2018

Title: Thanksgiving 2018

Text: 1 Corinthians 10:16

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

Once upon a time, I heard a story about a couple who wanted to sell their house. It seems that they had raised three children in that house, all of whom now had their own families and households, and the couple felt that it was about time to downsize. They were meeting with a real estate agent one night discussing putting their house on the market and after showing the agent around, she asked them to tell her some more about their property and its features to help her write up an advertisement for it. Jack began his verbal tour:

“Well, we have a wonderful patio out back where we used to BBQ every Sunday with kids. Their swing set was out there too, right next to those three big trees that I planted the day each one was born. The basement is great, I really did a pretty good job putting in that workshop down there.”

Then Mary chimed in: “Of course we have completely redone the kitchen; it’s so convenient now, and the new master bath is wonderful. We’ve also replaced all of the flooring and window treatments… there are so many wonderful memories though”

Jack and Mary looked at each other and Jack said almost inaudibly to himself, “Yeah, it’s the home we’ve always wanted.”

Jack and Mary decided they should appreciate what they have and needless to say the real estate agent was disappointed she didn’t get the listing after all.

It sure is easy to forget how fortunate we are in this life!

Thanksgiving is kind of like Jack and Mary’s experience with their home, for the time rolls around each year and we often find it easy to forget the whole point of the exercise: being thankful. Thanksgiving is hard-wired into the American psyche, it goes all the way back to 1621. Of course, setting aside a day to give thanks to God for all of His many blessings to a People goes all the way back to the Old Testament, for there are many references in Scripture about such celebrations.

So, what are you thankful for this year?

Family? Material blessings? World peace? Friends and neighbors? A good job? Maybe some might even say they are thankful for their Salvation.

Well, we still have a few days to think about it, don’t we?

So this Thursday, will we actually have the time to give it a thought? Ah yes, that’s the real question, Thanksgiving can be a hectic and busy day. For most of us, we’ll be concerned about whether or not our dinner is a success, or whether or not our favorite football team wins… of if Uncle Oscar shows up with a snoot-full. Even scarier these days, we might be afraid that Aunt Tilly might say something nice about Trump and start a knock down drag out war in our living room…

Sadly, being thankful and giving thanks to God doesn’t really come up in many dinners. If you think about it, being thankful and giving thanks aren’t really much in vogue these days; they seem to require a level of humility that is hard to find in contemporary culture, and an admission that we should give God credit for the good things in our lives simply isn’t politically correct.

Yet consider our text; it takes us back to the very center of our Christian lives. It makes a focus on the material seem almost ridiculous. If the Communion cup is a participation in Christ’s sacrifice and a declaration of His death until He returns, then an honest appraisal of Thanksgiving goes so much deeper than being seen as “cool” in the eyes of others for it goes to the very center of our identities in Christ.

Maybe we should be thinking about that.

Thanksgiving is a type of prayer, one of the four kinds of prayer contained in Scripture, which are prayers of thanksgiving, praise, intercession or supplication. (A prayer of supplication is a prayer for yourself.)

Thanksgiving is something that we should be engaged in 365 days per year, and when the big day comes around each year, giving thanks should be just as normal and natural as any other daily routine so, what are we thankful for?

Oh right, I forgot, we still have a few days to think about that one…

May our Thanksgiving celebrations be truly blessed occasions, may they be filled with the love of family and friends, with the love of Jesus Christ, and with a genuine giving of thanks for all of those things in this life that are truly important.

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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5 Responses to Sunday Sermon Notes: November 18, 2018

  1. After what has happened with me this year, I am thankful to have my health back, in time to help my wife whose health has now taken a turn for the worse. With God’s love and grace hers will return as well.

    I am also thankful to have people like you, who remind me daily to whom I am thankful. A wonderful and Blessed holiday to you and yours.

  2. GP Cox says:

    Excuse me, Don, but I would like to ask a favor. If you have time, I would very much like to hear your view on the post I reblogged today.

    • Don Merritt says:

      It’s difficult to even imagine all that those soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen had seen and experienced by 1945, not to mention all that their Chaplains had been through. Yet the sense I get from Chaplain Habel is one of hope, determination and not only about the mission but in God Himself. If I’m completely honest with you, there are way too many thoughts running through my mind about this whole subject for a very cogent reply… I might just post about it in the next day or so. In any case, I really appreciate that you called this to my attention.

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