Originally scheduled for October 20
Great-grandfather did not go to church expecting to gain anything more
that he already had; he went there to give thanks for it.
Much has changed since great-grandfather’s
time. The contentment of his age has given way to the idea that the
church is a source of material gain the Christian. The most visible
aspect of this is what is referred to as “prosperity gospel.” The
idea is that God wants to bless you; but you have to trust him with
your money first — so send in a large contribution. This should
raise suspicious eyebrows.
But prayer in the ordinary sense is often used
the same way. Often enough, our prayers consist of a long list of
wants and desires, clearly indicating that what I want comes before
“thy will be done.” We seldom ask what it is that we should ask for.
Just what is it that we should desire in life? May I suggest that
that question is best put off until we have answered what it is we
should do first in prayer.
How often we skip over thanksgiving to go to
our list of wants and complaints. The truth is that, materially
speaking, Americans are extraordinarily blessed. One student
complained to this author that all those fellows with cardboard
signs along the road side were fakes — they all made a good earning
out of the donations of passersby. If you believe that, then when
you go home today I suggest you go into your bedroom, alone, get
down on your knees and thank Almighty God that you live in the
United States of America. America — the land where even the beggars
are rich. Give thanks for this; then give thanks for the abundant
blessing you have.
But their greater things than these which we
should be thankful. At communion we celebrate the greatest of our
We should be thankful for the
incarnation of our Lord. It is an astounding descent for him to come
from heaven to earth that we might live.
Of course, at communion, we should be
thankful for the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord — the
basis of our faith.
Finally, we should be thankful for
the promise that he will return, bringing with him the saints gone
Communion is the time we should examine
ourselves and give thanks for the greatest gifts ever given to
mankind. Thanks be to God, from whom all blessings flow.