Sermon for October 11, 2020 Thanksgiving “On Being Well”
There are two verses from the texts that spoke to me this week. Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God from Exodus and Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him, for Matthew.
As we experience Thanksgiving in the midst of a global pandemic it seems that remembering God and gratitude emerge as key for our faith, sanity and global well-being. There is also the wisdom and foresight of God that suggests we humans, when faced with abundance and become settled in home and faith, will forget God and move toward a place of entitlement. In Deuteronomy God is describing a glorious place, after generations of wandering in the desert, eating manna and quail, this must have sounded like an impossible dream, too big and glorious to be believed. And yet when the people arrived, the land produced… just as promised.
The rest of the story is that it did not take long for the people to forget God and rely on their own skill and work. Soon the scrolls were a dusty relic in the back of the cupboard, and God a distant belief of grandparents.
If we are prone to repeat our forgotten history then it seems to me that we are on the edge of a great revival of the Christian faith and a new embracing of the teachings of Jesus. It may not look the same as it did in the post WW2 era of Canada and NB, but it will emerge and we are called to prepare the way for this revival.
Gratitude has been part of the human condition for ever and across all ways and patterns of life. From our first conversations, all religions, philosophies or lack thereof, we have been prone to give thanks. In Jesus day and in ours, gratitude is often an afterthought. When the lepers were healed one returned with gratitude. One of the earliest and most persistent lessons of my parents was; don’t forget your please and thankyou’s.
And Jesus said ‘where are the other nine?”
When we a stunning sunrise or sunset do we say ‘that happens because of the rotation of the earth and vapour and particles in the air giving the diffused sunbeams opportunity to refract and reflect causing differing hues…or do we say WOW? When we see a rainbow or double or triple rainbow do we launch into a explanation about why or do we say WOW? When we view the majestic vistas of New Brunswick do we start talking about the cooling temperatures and the decreasing efficiency of photosynthesis or do we say WOW? When we share an amazing meal with family and friends do we enjoy the food and company, say thanks and WOW or do we meander on to a long discourse about the food industry in the world?
All year, every day and at Thanksgiving in particular we are in positions to say thank you and WOW. Jesus calls us to be a thankful people for all that God provides. So the question remains are we in the group that walks away or the group that pauses to say thank you?