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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sermon 11232011 Thanksgiving

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Jesus Christ, we the body of Christ today gather together to give You thanks for all of the blessings You have showered upon us this year.  For the rain that nourished our winter wheat to the summer showers upon our corn, you have provided for us a bountiful harvest of both wheat and corn.  May we be reminded of our need to say thanks to You and offer our praise, for the gifts given us are a direct result of what Your Son and our Savior Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross of Calvary.  As we partake of Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood in our meal of Thanksgiving, may this be not only a foretaste of the feast to come, but a reminder of the joy You have in feeding us the precious gift of eternal life found in, with and under the bread and wine, which is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ for all of us Saints here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

As a Senior in high school I won the opportunity to represent the state of Virginia at the National Poultry Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.  My area of expertise wasn’t judging chickens like at the local fair, nor was it grading eggs, whether brown or white eggs.  I represented the State of Virginia in cooking Turkey.  Yes, that’s right, cooking turkey.  Since it is Thanksgiving and our national pastime of roasting a bird in an oven is the norm along with all the trimings, representing the state of Virginia, I didn’t have the luxury of an oven, being inside or even having the pleasure of killing, plucking or preparing for a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.  You see, I had the pleasure of cooking a turkey over top of an open charcoal grill, with not even a cover, but I did have a 30 mile per hour head wind and the temperature was about 30 degree’s outside.  Not much difference from being here in Western Kansas now that I think about it.

So what does this have to do with us today as we gather today here in Goodland, KS.  We gather not because there is turkey on the table, stuffing, gravy, cranberries and all the fixings, but because of our thankfulness for what Jesus Christ has done for all of us on the Cross of Calvary.  The meal we partake of around the altar of our Lord is a celebration and worship of our God Who gives us a foretaste of the feast to come. 

In our worship and celebration we remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and partake of a Thanksgiving meal each time we receive His precious Body and Blood.  For it is this meal of bread and wine in a mystical union in, with and under these elements that we receive the gift of Eternal Life.  As we receive this meal and believe in our hearts, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, broken and shed for you for the remission of sins, God gives us the greatest gift and blessing.  We do not, nor can we merit it, but it is by God’s divine Grace we receive this gift every time we partake of this Holy Meal, this Great Thanksgiving.

Thus as we gather tomorrow around our individual tables, where family, friends and loved ones not only share in the feast of turkey, ham, potatoes, cranberries, peas, stuffing and all the fixings may we be reminded that tonight and every time we gather together around the altar in the presence of God, we partake of the greatest feast offered for each of us.  For it is this Great Thanksgiving feast where we join with our family of all time and place and receive the greatest sacrificial gift given to us by Jesus Christ.  And we can prayerfully pray, the prayer our Lord taught us, specifically “give us this day our daily bread” for all of us Saints here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.
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