October 03, 2006

Looking Ahead to October 8, 2006 -- Thanksgiving Sunday, 18th after Pentecost

The Scripture Readings for this Sunday will be:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Joel 2:21-27
  • Psalm 126
  • From the Gospel: Matthew 6:25-33

The Hymns will be:

  • #222 Come, Let Us Sing
  • #227 For the Fruit of All Creation
  • #226 For the Beauty of the Earth
  • #884 You Shall Go Out with Joy

The Sermon title is Expectant Thanksgiving.

Early Thoughts: Part of being faithful is being thankful. We give thanks, not to avoid offending God the Giver, but to remind ourselves that we are truly blessed. In a world where it is easy to believe that we have too little, giving thanks pushes us to think seriously about how much we have -- to look at our abundance instead of our scarcity.

But being God's people also means that we are people of hope, faith, and trust (add a little pixie dust and we could start to fly). And so we give thanks not only for what we have received but expectantly, for what may yet come.

The people of Israel were just coming out of a time of famine when God speaks to them through the prophet Joel, promising that :

24The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you. 26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Joel tells the people to rejoice and be thankful because of what will be. They are told to be expectantly thankful. In the same way Jesus encourages his followers to worry less. God who provides what the flowers of the field and the birds of the air need will also provide for God's people. Hard words to live by to be sure. But when we build a habit of being thankful, when we get accustomed to looking for our abundance then it becomes easier to worry less and trust more.

And behold, Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.(Psalm 126:6)

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