I don’t know about you, but I find preaching on Thanksgiving to be one of the most difficult preaching assignments of the year.
I mean, other than saying “We ought to be thankful,” what is there to say?
And right there’s the problem, don’t you think? Thanksgiving—that is the genuine expression of gratitude—can’t be commanded. It’s like your mom, after you forgot to say “Thank you,” prompting you with the oh-so-patient “You’re welcome.” Sure, you say “Thanks” then, but it doesn’t quite mean the same thing.
So how do we preach Thanksgiving? I can’t say I’ve got the whole thing figured out, but I’ve found a few clues in Luke’s story of the 10 lepers that’s often the reading for Thanksgiving services: 10 lepers are healed; one returns, and it’s a Samaritan, no less. OK, so one way to go is to lift up the Samaritan as an example. Trouble is most of us hate examples like this because they just make us feel guilty.
What’s more interesting, I think, is noticing that all 10 were healed. All 10, even the nine who didn’t return to say “Thanks.” So what made the Samaritan different? He noticed. That’s pretty much it. Oh, I know, he returned to say thanks once he noticed. But I think that was kind of inevitable or even almost involuntary. I mean, once you notice something spectacular, it’s hard not to say something. “I’ve got good news; the cancer is in remission.” “He proposed; look at my ring.” “I just saw the best movie.” “I can’t believe you came; thanks!”
I think it was like that for the Samaritan; once he realized he’d been healed, he couldn’t help but turn back and share his joy and thanksgiving with Jesus.
Thanksgiving is like that. When it’s genuine, it’s spontaneous, even involuntary—you recognize you’ve been blessed and can’t help but share your joy through thanksgiving.
Click here to read more.
Source: Church Leaders