Tag Archives: thanks

And When He Had Given Thanks

for Sunday, July 29, 2012
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
9th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 12
Year B
lectionary focus: John 6:1-21
note: Since this Bible story also appeared in the lectionary for July 31, 2011, you can use my Let’s Have a Picnic sermon or you can use this one here…You can also pair this sermon with Pat Hutchin’s book, The Doorbell Rang (Greenwillow, 1986).

Good morning!

The other day, my friend Zachary and his sister went to visit their Grandmother. She had just made cookies! Zach and Liza love her cookies and were excited to share them. Then the backdoor opened and their cousins showed up. Oh, family fun!…but now they would get fewer cookies when they shared…but that was okay. Then some of the neighbor kids came over. Well, you see where this story is going. Zach and Liza were about to have a problem. They had lots of family and friends to play with, but with so many people they wouldn’t get very many cookies…in fact, as they divided up the cookies, they got fewer and fewer…until they each got only half a cookie!

But I wonder what was really important about that day?

In our Bible story today, Jesus and His friends have a picnic with 5,000 people. Oh, how fun to be with so many friends, yet it really didn’t seem like they would have enough to feed everyone. But when they had gather the five loaves of bread and the two fish, first Jesus gave thanks. Then they shared and they had enough. I like that Jesus shows us that before we start anything, we give thanks for what we have. Even when it seems that we don’t have enough or that the job is too hard or that we don’t even really know how to do what needs to be done, first we give thanks. And when we are first thankful for God’s love and guidance and blessings, we will be satisfied.

Will you say a prayer with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You for Your love.
Thank You for Your strength.
Thank You for Your blessings.
Help me
to give thanks
first.
Amen

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

A Thanksgiving Story

Last Sunday after Pentecost
Christ the King (Reign of Christ)
Thanksgiving Week
for Sunday, November 20, 2011
lectionary focus: Matthew 25:31-46

Good morning.

I like to celebrate each day as a holiday, as a holy day. But we are now at the time of year where our calendar is full of holidays. This week our whole country will stop and celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Families and friends all over will get together and eat turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie. People will count their blessings one by one, giving thanks to God for all of their happiness.

Our Bible story today is a Thanksgiving Story. In fact, it is a Thank You card from Jesus. Jesus thanks you and me for feeding Him and clothing Him and welcoming Him and giving Him medicine and just hanging-out with Him. But wait? Jesus was a man on Earth 2,000 years ago; we live here now. How could we have fed Him and clothed Him then? Because Jesus is also alive today. He is alive in our hearts–in my heart, in your heart, in everybody’s hearts. So whatever we do to each other, we are, in essence, doing unto Jesus. By feeding others, by giving clothes, by just hanging-out with others, we are welcoming Jesus today, here and now. Jesus wants us to know that He appreciates our kindness to Him through our family and friends and neighbors near and far. Jesus knows that sometimes it is hard to recognize Him in others; other people may have Jesus hidden away inside themselves. But we know where Jesus lives. And we must treat others as if we are serving Jesus Himself because, as Jesus tells us in this story, we are. Of course, we want to treat Jesus very well!

So this holiday and every holy day, as we offer our thanksgiving for all of our blessings, let us also generously share food, and clothing, and peace, and love, and joy, that we may be worthy of Jesus saying Thank you to us.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for Your gratitude.
Help me
to see You in others
that I may be worthy
of Your thanks.

Amen

We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.