Deb asked me to write a post for Thanksgiving. I asked myself the same question I ask myself every year when it comes to sermons for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. What do I say that hasn’t already been said?
“Hello…Bill (think Biff knocking on McFly’s head in Back to the Future). Who says you have to say something different?”
True that. So a simple post it is.
I’d like to propose a small proposition statement: Forgettable: thanksgiving. Forgettable holiday: Thanksgiving Day. Unforgettable: God’s steadfast love.
Let’s take the first two. One simple question will set up why I say “forgettable.” Here it is: what is the one thing we often fail to do each day? Answer: be grateful. It is so much easier spouting off to God this unending shopping list of ideas/things He can and ought to do for us/things He should do for us/how He can answer our prayers with what we think is best. Thankful heart? Maybe…if we get around to it. So…now you know why I think thanksgiving is forgettable.
Second: forgettable holiday. Seriously (as my daughter says)? Do I really have to go into this?
Halloween hadn’t even passed before Christmas decorations and gift items were already on the shelves of WalMart, Target and all the other big box stores. Our local theater has been advertising for a free showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” for close to a month (and yes, I will be going). It won’t be long before we see sparklers taking the place of lights; Santa’s sleigh being pulled by 8 tiny rabbits; the wise men & shepherds wearing costumes; and a heart replacing Jesus in the manger. Sarcastic I know. But am I wrong? Think about it: Thanksgiving Day gets a bum rap. We love it because it means school is dismissed; work is shut down (for most professions); we get to eat without feeling guilty (because we will head to the gym the next day); we get to watch football instead of having social interaction. (I, for one, am not a football fan so it doesn’t matter to me who is playing). And wonder of all wonders! Black Friday is the next day kicking off what? The Christmas season (which has already been in full swing).
So…thanksgiving is forgettable. Thanksgiving Day is the forgettable holiday (or often overlooked).
One thing should not be overlooked, forgettable. We dare not forget God’s love never changes. Romans 8 is a feast of truth. There is way too much for me write about here but let me give you some ideas.
Romans 8:1-2. Can there be any greater blessing for which to be thankful than knowing you have been set free from sin and bondage and are no longer under condemnation?
Romans 8: 16-17. So many live with insecurity-with their lives and their salvation. Take a closer look: children and heirs. As I am want to say: Holy mackerel! Can there be anything much better?
Romans 8: 28-29. Everyone focuses on verse 28 but verse 29 says, “He has predestined us to be conformed to the image of Jesus!” That is another “Holy mackerel!” moment.
Romans 8:31-39. The coup de gras. Is there any more powerful set of words and thoughts put together under “one roof” than those? “Who shall separate us…?” “Neither death nor life, nor angels…”
Don’t let Thanksgiving Day pass by without taking some time to read and ponder the powerful truths in Romans 8. I have this sneaking suspicion you won’t forget this Thanksgiving for a long time.