Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

10653 N – 550 W
Decatur, IN 46733

A 21st Century Parish with a 1st Century Faith
Acts 2:42

Celebrating our 170th Year
Chartered February 25, 1838

November 27, 2008
Thanksgiving Day

Lord God heavenly Father, through whose kindness we have again received the fruits of the earth in their season, grant us ever to rejoice in Your mercy that neither prosperity nor adversity may drive us from Your presence; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Sprit, One God, now and forever.

The prayer for Thanksgiving at the end of the harvest reminds us that once again the Lord has permitted us to gather in the fruit of the earth. Each planting, growing, and harvest season has its own set of challenges – this year was not in the least a challenging one. Yet we have seen once again that the Lord orders our days and guides out path. This morning may the words of this profound and yet simple pray be the basis of our meditation for this Thanksgiving 2008. At the end of the harvest we pray:

Lord God heavenly Father. Our prayer begins as we call upon the Lord. It is to Him that we seek direction in our life. It is His face we seek. It is His mercy which calls us to pray.

Having called upon Him we are drawn to the many blessings which flow from His mighty hand. We recall His kindness. His blessings, the richness of His grace, His forgiveness, these we do not deserve – yet, He lavishes them upon us - because He is kind and gentle toward us. This is His nature. He can do nothing else.

As He acts on our behalf we have again received the fruits of the earth. True, our farmers put in many hard and long hours. Fields don’t plant themselves and someone has to work the harvest. Your work is important, tremendously important and yet we find a significant and profound truth. It is the Lord who multiplies and gives the increase. He sends the rain at the proper time. He sends the sunshine. Everything is fixed according to His timetable.

And the harvest which is received comes at the proper time in their season. The Lord has promised that there will always be a crop. Though we may often times go through cycles of adversity and challenge that Lord has promised there will always be another growing season. The land lays dormant now. Just as Advent leads to Christmas and the discipline of Lent segues into Easter so also the death of winter will only give birth to spring, The Lord promises “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will not cease.”

Thus we pray, grant us ever to rejoice in Your mercy. Without the Lord we have nothing. Without His sustaining hand we are left living a live which is dictated to chance. Without His hand ordering our days and guiding our path we are left to circumstances directing our life. We need a balanced life.

So that neither prosperity in times of plenty, which the stock market is climbing, and the prices are souring. When yields are high and dividends are increasing.

Nor adversity – such as the time in which we live today when the future is not so certain when the experts try to explain that we are entering into uncharted waters, where the solution is uncertain.

We pray that these may never drive us from Your presence. Instead we look to the Lord for direction and life. David reminds us in Psalm 46 God is our refuge and d strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Of course, we always pray through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Who lives and reigns - For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water, And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.[1]

With You and the Holy Sprit, Blessed by the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity. Let us give glory to Him because He has shown His mercy to us. [2]

One God, now and forever. With the evangelist John we can say Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our god for ever and ever. Amen[3]

Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father. Place yourselves under each other's authority out of respect for Christ.[4]

A Blessed Thanksgiving - in Jesus’ Name.
[1] Revelation 7:17
[2] Liturgical Text from the Introit for Trinity Sunday
[3] Revelation 7:12
[4] Ephesians 5:18-21

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