Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Sermon(ette)

I preached for our Ecumenical Thanksgiving service. It was short - it was supposed to be short - 12 minutes or so. It's hard to do any justice to a text in that amount of time - and yes, I tried to stick with a text.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Note that it's the end of each of the commands that totally make them hard - "always", "continually", "in all circumstances". I can be joyful when things are going well. I can pray - sometimes. I'm as thankful as the next guy - especially around thanksgiving. But these commands are so much more.

I talked about how important perspective is when it comes to these commands - and closed with perspective on thankfulness.

As long as you think your life is so unfair and that you deserve more, you will never become a thankful person. But when you understand that you deserved eternal punishment and separation from God -- yet in His grace and mercy God instead gave YOU what HE deserved, and HE took the punishment YOU deserved, and EVERYTHING you have -- including every breath you breathe -- is a gift -- then you will become a thankful person.

That's not profound. It's just something I said.


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