Nov 19 06
Sermon Notes for Sunday, November 19, 2006.
Pass the Blessing
In a few days we will be saying, “Pass the dressing, please”; or “Pass the turkey” or some such things. We will gather with family to celebrate our holiday of Thanksgiving. We will have food, fun and football, the trifecta of American Thanksgiving.
This passage in Matthew helps us see something about the Holidays that we forget. Jesus’ words remind us that life does not consist of the grasp for food and clothing. That does not mean that those things are unimportant, but it does mean that he is aware of our need of all those things. The ‘gentiles’, those on the outside, order their lives around those things.
He said that his followers order their lives around a different principle. His followers order their lives around the kingdom and its goals. Food and clothing, while essential, are taken care of by a heavenly Father who knows our needs.
What is the organizing principle that makes us different from ‘the gentiles?’ It is the kingdom. Our goal is the kingdom and God’s will be done on earth as in heaven. Our aim is to ‘pass the blessing’. Our goal is the kingdom, here and now.
As we come to this table and as we turn in our pledge cards for our service, giving and prayers, we come to pass it on.
Devotional Guide. Monday, November 20, 2006. 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. The Ark was being brought to Jerusalem and placed in the Tent of Meeting. This was a high occasion. The Ark was a visible presence of God to the people. Notice that in the Old Testament praise isn’t some nebulous, abstract thing. When the writers tell Israel to ‘give thanks’ it was for concrete things. List the things that David told them to give thanks for i.e. wonderful works, etc. How is that list different from yours? For what do you thank God?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006. Psalm 118:1-18. This is a psalm of refuge. The writer had called out in distress (v. 5); had confidence in God’s help (v6-9); knew that he would live and not die (v16). The writer felt surrounded by forces beyond his control, but knew that salvation arrived in the presence of God. How does this psalm relate to your life and those times when you felt overwhelmed?
Wednesday, November 22, 2006. Psalm 118:19-29. Listen to the last half of this psalm: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone’ (v 22); ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’ (v. 26); ‘Bind the festal procession with branches (27). Remind you of anyone? This psalm has been used by Jesus and the Gospel writers to remind us of his work in death and resurrection. Taken as a whole this Psalm is a thanksgiving for deliverance from enemies and death. Jesus provides for both. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Thursday, November 23, 2006. Thanksgiving Day. What customs does your family have for this day? Food? Of course! Family? Without a doubt! Football? Maybe. As a nation we give thanks for the blessings of God. Even with the war on terror raging, we have plenty to give thanks for. Take a moment today and list the things for you personally are thankful. Share the list with your family.
Friday, November 24, 2006. With Thanksgiving behind us, can Advent be far off? It’s just a week away. Are you ready for Advent? Are you ready for the birth of hope? Are you ready for Christ to be born in your life, again? The carol says O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today…are you ready?