Purpose: To motivate the hearers to have a lifestyle of Thanksgiving
I. Thanksgiving background A. 102 Seperatist CHristians sailed to America in 1620 1. They lost 46 on the voyage 2. They decided to celebrate a thanksgiving after 1621 harvest along with 91 Indians who helped them to survive 3. It was an English Harvest festival that lasted three days B. Didn’t happen again next year. It was sporadic C. George Washington declared a naitonal thanksgiving in 1789 1. Many opposed to it, thinking hardships of a few pilgrims did not warrant a national thanksgiving 2. Later, Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of a thanksgiving D. Sarah Hale, a journalist went on a 40 year writing compaign for a national day of thanksgiving E. Finally, in 1863, Lincoln declared a thanksgiving F. In 1941, FDR & Congress recognized thanksgiving as a legal holiday. II. Even today, Thanksgiving is the least recognized holiday A. Stores seem to jump straight from Halloween to thanksgiving B. Thanksgiving seems to be forgotten. Why? 1. To a great extent, media and marketers have affected how this country observes its holidays 2. There is money to be made on Halloween and and Xmas - Lots of shopping - Kids think of receiving gifts 3. However, thanksgiving is not about receiving, but giving thanks C. As a result, thanksgiving receives less attention by many folks D. Many stuff themselves and rarely think about act of “thanksgiving” III. Maybe this is why God commanded several “thanksgiving” rites to Israel A. Dt. 8:10-18 - God commanded them to give thanks to God B. v.14 - ILL: Man prayed, God answers it, man says “never mind God” C. Easy forget thanks, which is why parents remind kids “say thank you” D. Likewise, this passage says, “what do you say to the nice God?” IV. Did God tell them HOW to give thanks? A. Interesting that the first act of worship appears to be a thanksgiving 1. Gen 4 - Cain and Abel’s “sacrifice?” No, it is called an “offering” 2. “Sacririces” in the O.T. - usually called “offerings” 3. Most of the “offerings” in Leviticus were “optional” 4. There were grain, drink, fruit and vegetable offerings given to God B. The FIRST official act of thanksgiving by God’s chosen people in Exo 12 1. v.24-28 - Passover a family thanksgiving festival 2. Lev 23:9ff - First fruits (wave offering, burnt offring and grain offering) 3. Lev 23:15 - Feast of first fruits (weeks) Pentecost - Harvest festival (in additions to bread offerings, animals were offered) 4. Lev 23:33ff - Feast of Booths 5. Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacle - Thanksgiving 3 times a year!! C. Can we learn anything from all this emphasis God placeson thanksgiving? V. As Christians we have been commanded a “thanksgiving” A. Jesus transformed one of these thanksgiving festivals B. During passover, Jesus instituted a new kind of thanksgiving rememberance C. Do this in rememberance of me - not once a year, not 3, but 52 times a year! D. Maybe now that we do it weekly, we wont forget! VI. Instead of continuing to talk about thanksgiving, let’s just do it A. Eph 1:3-14 - Thank you Lord for each of these things. Sing: 718 B. Eph 2:11-19; 3:20-21 -To him be the glory. Sing: 88 Concl: 1. Never, never forget 2. Hopefully, we remember that to sit at the Lord’s table is a wonderful time of thanksgiving 3. I challenge you to spend time with your kids teaching and reminding them of the blessings we all have in Christ.