Originally scheduled for November 23
We begin by examining the word “Thanksgiving”
itself. It is composed of two ordinary words, “thanks” and “giving.”
We give thanks, in general, to those
who have delivered to us a blessing. Some act of grace, some gift or
charity, these are the things that sparked the word “Thanksgiving.”
This is particularly so because of
the second half of the word, “giving.” Whatever it is that we
received it was not something we exchange value to get.
Of course, in America the word also
connotes a particular holiday in which we give thanks and share the
bounty of the land (and football.)
Thanksgiving is also the proper response of the
human being to a gift from God. In that context I would like you to
examine your prayer life today. Most people in prayer forget to give
thanks; they rush right on into their list of petitions. Giving
thanks has been reduced to a formality. So often it’s one sentence,
followed by a very long list of things you would like to have fixed,
or healed, or something just a little better off than it is. If this
is your prayer habit consider how little you would be inclined to
answer such a petition. This may cause your prayers to be neglected.
But as he has given us the Lord’s prayer to
guide us and how we should pray he has guided us to his castle of
the gifts hearing communion. It takes very little time for you to
examine yourself in communion one the benefits of that as you begin
to realize the blessings that God has given you. Indeed, it is a
good thing to do this because you will see the grandeur of his
creation; you’ll see the blessings of his love.
Most of all you will discover the blessings
given to you for his sacrifice. You should indeed be thankful that
you have both body and soul so that you can do this. But first and
foremost consider his sacrifice on the cross. His body bled and died
for their and for that you should have some feeling of Thanksgiving.
So take care this morning to remind yourself of
what the Christian should be doing during communion. It is not a
time to fold a tight crease in the program, but rather to
contemplate a great extent of his gift and his mercy. We are all but
sinners saved by grace it is fitting that every week we should
acknowledge that fact. Confess those sins; repent of those sins and
then join in identifying yourself with the body and blood of Christ,
through his communion.