A Thanksgiving Message

This past Sunday I spoke to Amana Christian Fellowship about “A Thanksgiving Message.”  It was fun to give a short history lesson on the settlers before the settlers (the ones most people have never realized existed, like the French and the Spaniards who made their way to the West).  We recognized how they gave thanks to God for the blessings that they had.  Then, I spoke on the settlers that we are more familiar with (the ones that held the first “official” thanksgiving festival).  Like church groups enjoy doing, they had eating, games, hunting (maybe more churches should do that too??), and of course, prayer and thanksgiving.  The point I made is that our nation’s original settlers were intentional about thanking God for their blessings.  Then, I mentioned some of our early presidents who, not believing in the seperation of church and state, they intentionally thanked God on behalf of our early nation.  It’s amazing how when they sowed worship and thanksgiving, we as a nation for hundreds of years have reaped the blessings of God.  Now, one can only hope for the government to instill those same principles in our government once again.  Perhaps the favor of God will rain upon us once again.  This point of this post, believe it or not, is not meant to be political.  I really want to mention what thanksgiving really is.  We always hear how important it is to be thankful, but we don’t really understand what it is, or how, rather, it is given.  In Sunday’s closing, I mentioned the parable of the banquet spoken of by Jesus.  In the parable, Jesus says to invite a certain people.  Those certain people did not show up for the banquet.  After, Jesus basically says to invite everyone else (the people in the streets and alleys of the town, the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame).  Of course, we know that they came and “filled His house.”  I feel the point of the parable is that everyone is spiritually living in the streets and alleys, poor, crippled, blind, and lame.  The problem is that very few realize it.  The ones who did not realize it basically felt like they were being invited to just another banquet, and “thanklessly” declined it.  While the other group was so “thankful” to be invited to a very nice banquet that they knew they never deserved to be invited to.  Thankfulness was something that we saw the second group respond to.  My point to the church was that if we really are thankful for the things we all thank God for on Thanksgiving morning, then we ought to 
respond
to the invitation of Jesus, not just say thank you with our mouths.  The way to respond is to live our lives, daily, with repentance and belief in Jesus.  After all, we have been invited to an eternal banquet in the promised land with Jesus Christ Himself. Aren’t you thankful for that?