Monday, October 4, 2010

Looking Forward to October 10, 2010 -- Thanksgiving Sunday

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Deuteronomy 26:1-11
  • Psalm 100 (sung to Old 100th using the old words -- VU p.823)
  • Philippians 4:4-9

The Sermon title is Memory and Hope

Early Thoughts: Why do we give thanks?  Or maybe the better question is why do we forget to give thanks?

The secret to giving thanks is memory.  It really is that simple.  We are better at giving thanks when we are intentional about remembering what we have to be thankful for.

This Deuteronomy Passage is a great illustration.  As part of the thanksgiving offering the people are told to recount the history of their people.  What do we need to remember?  This week we will sing old words to an old tune, reminding us that we are part of a continuing story.  For that we give thanks.  This season we remember the food on our tables and where it has come from.  And we give thanks.  Continually we remember that we are a part of many different communities and for that we give thanks.

And what difference does it make?  What is the positive effect of this remembering and giving thanks?  It changes how we see the world.  It gives us more hope.  It gives us a more optimistic outlook.  How could it not?  After all, in a world that often tries hard to convince us to be afraid and to show us that we don't have enough, it is a wonderfully empowering (and counter-cultural) practice to think of the reasons we have to NOT be afraid and to remind ourselves of our blessings.

This thanksgiving, let us all take time to remember.  Let us all embrace the reality of memory and hope.

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