Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Thanksgiving Eve

Thanksgiving Eve
November 27, 2002
Psalm 65
"Sing Hallelujah at the Harvest"

Introduction:  The harvest is complete - the crops are now in. It is now time to evaluate the past planting, growing, and harvest season - and what a season it has been. When measuring yields from previous years, factoring in weather conditions, stress on crops, what the market will bear it's easy to loose track that God is involved in all that we do.  Our Psalm for this evening Psalm 65 gets us back on track as He urges us to sing Hallelujahs at the Harvest.

1.                  We sing our Hallelujahs as we approach God.

A.     We approach God a silent people 1)  "Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled."

B.     We approach God a seeking people 2) "O you who hear prayer, 
to you all men will come."

C.     We approach God a sinful people 3) "When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions."

D.     We approach God a satisfied people 4)  "Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple."

Transition: Not only do we approach our God this night we come seeking to know Him.

2.                  Apprehending God

A.     We apprehend God's power to convert

1.      First the Hebrew people 5a  "You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior

2.      But also the Heathen peoples  , 5b  the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,"

B.     We apprehend God's power to create 6 "who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,"

C.     We apprehend God's power to control

1.      The restless waves - 7 "who stilled the roaring of the seas,"

2.      The restless world - 7b-8  " the roaring of their waves, 
and the turmoil of the nations. Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy."

Transition:  Having approached and apprehended God we appreciate all He has done for us. This is the secret to true thanksgiving.

3.          Appreciating God

A.     Appreciating the wealth of the heavens - 9 - 10   "You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops."

B.     Appreciating the wealth of the harvest - 11-13  "You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

Lord God, joy marks Your presence, beauty, abundance, and peace are the tokens of Your work in creation. Work also in our lives, that by these signs we may see the splendor of Your love and may praise You through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For All the Saints A Prayer book for and by the Church, Year 2: Advent - Pentecost American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY © 1995

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