Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve

Thanksgiving Eve
27 November 2013
Psalm 100

Thanksgiving Eve
"A Hymn of Praise"
Psalm 100

Introduction:  Yet another year has come and gone for us to remember the blessings which come to us from the hand of our gracious God. Thanksgiving is a special time of the year for us as we recall the blessings, which the Savior has graciously showered down upon us and then in worship and praise we render to God what He is due.

Yet, how do we do it? David in Psalm 100 gives us a method for us to return our thanks back to God. In your hymnal you will find Psalm 100. Let's consider David's hymn of praise in which he thanks God for the blessings, which God has given.

I.   Approaching God (Psalm 100:1-2)

A.      Universal Harmony "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands " (v.1) In tonight's Gospel lesson, the story of the ten lepers which were cleansed, we are reminded that only one returned to offer thanks. David urges all to render thanks to God; from the greatest to the least. All are to make a joyful noise unto the Lord; all are to unite in harmony together.

B.      Unrestrained Happiness "Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing" (v.2) St. Paul reminds us that we are to worship God with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. When we are blessed we are a happy and a joyful people. Consider the blessings that you have received. They are too numerous to count. How do you respond with cold or a grateful heart? The sound of music, and singing suggests that we respond to God with a heart overflowing with joy and gratitude.

Transition: As we approach God in worship and praise we discover that it is the very nature of God to bless us. This is His nature.

II. Apprehending God  "Know ye that the Lord he is God it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture" (Psalm 100:3)

A.      Consider His Person -"Know ye that the Lord he is God…" Thanksgiving causes us to acknowledge God. He blesses us because He is God. He can do none other then to bless us. When we return thanks we return thanks to our Creator.

B.      Consider His Power – “it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves:" As thinking persons, we can invent numerous things. God does us one better as He creates. He creates life, He creates eternal life. He is the one who has knit us together. We are fearfully and wondrously made.

C.      Consider His Purpose - "we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture " We have been created for a purpose. Christ Jesus has said "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly" (John) Jesus has come that we might be given His life; that we might have fellowship with Him; that we might dwell with Him.

Transition: Once we come to know and understand God we can truly appreciate what He has done for us and what He has promised that He will continue to do for us in the future. This is thanksgiving that comes to appreciate God.

  III.  Appreciating God (Psalm 100:4-5)  We do this in two ways:

A.      First, by Coming to Him - Thankfully - "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name" (v.4)

1.             Arriving at the Temple - "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise;" This is why you have come tonight. You have come; you have arrived at His temple to worship God and to thank Him.  But what's more; once you have arrived at His dwelling; His temple you will also be…

2.            Arriving at the Truth -" be thankful unto him, and bless his name" Pilate asked the question "what is truth?" Jesus answers than question with the words "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Me" That is the ultimate truth to understand God and to know Him in a real and significant way.  We now know God as He comes to us through His Word and Sacrament to give us His life, His redemption, His freedom, His forgiveness.

B.       We also come to appreciate God by Communing with Him - Thoughtfully  "For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations." (v.5) David gives us three facts, which cannot be disputed.

1.       An Essential Fact (God's Goodness) - "For the Lord is good," This is God's essence. He is Good. He wants nothing but the best for us. Nothing but good can come from Him.

2.       An Eternal Fact (God's Mercy) -"and his truth endureth."  God's mercy will never die, it can never run out. While we might grow tired of certain things God's mercy will always satisfy for it is new to us each day and it will endure forever. It will never run out, it will never need to be replaced. It will always satisfy. God's mercy will endure forever.

3.       An Enduring Fact (God's Truth) -"to all generations" God's mercy and grace will withstand the test of time. It will last forever. This is God's promise to us. Great is His faithfulness!

Conclusion:  Great is Thy faithfulness. What a wonder to behold. All we have is but a gift. His story must be told.  A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours. Amen.

+ Soli Deo Gloria+

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