Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Day Of and The Day After Thanksgiving.
Another day dawning.
To give thanks
There was a man who refused to give thanks. By golly jingles he had worked hard and earned everything he had. Besides Thanksgiving was a nasty holiday rooted in the ugly Christian manifest destiny concept that destroyed the land and the Native Americans that live thereon. Anger filled the man and not thanks or gratitude. Did I say he was an angry man? His wife and children did not like him. Did I say he was lonely even though surrounded by "friends and family"?
If you just cannot believe in an creator then why would you give thanks to anyone but yourself? Good for you, thank yourself. Even a friendly hand from a neighbor or boss was only given because you are you. Uh oh. Not if the kindness you have been shown was because of someone else's belief in a higher power. Although you do not believe, much of your benefits of life come from someone who does and that may well be the "reason" you have what you have. No man is an island. So let us expand from only giving thanks to yourself but to others who have acted kindly toward you. Oh dear you are reading this from some form of computer. Better give some thanks to the folks who made it and that freedom you have to use it means you better give thanks to those who created that freedom and those who protect it. And shucks, but you are alive and to some degree thrive. Better give thanks to mom and dad.
Oh my even those that do not give thanks to a God have many thanks to give out. Oh my I find myself giving thanks to those antagonists of mine that make me evaluate and consider my own ideas.
It just seems impossible not to have something to give thanks about.
Thankful for beauty
Had to play this song.
What is the matter with Eric? He publishes an article/sermon on Thanksgiving the day after Thanksgiving. Bad marketing Eric. Yes I suppose that is right. And what is said next may be equally unproductive but we try. Today is the 27th of November. Just another day on the calendar. And that is the point. Just another day and we should give thanks. Around here we give big thanks to Jesus Christ who died for us. We give thanks to our ancestors for being a huge part of making this wonderful life of ours. We give thanks by name to our friends and family. And though we are just three in the home we give thanks for each other. We give thanks for those who paid an ultimate price for our freedom and those currently willing to do the same. Did I say we make a point of doing this everyday.
To us Thanksgiving day is a special day. Traditions and food and enjoying each other and food and having fun and not working and food. We have a blast cooking together, taking in a movie and avoiding the world and not avoiding food. You see for us Thanksgiving is only in a minor way about giving thanks. We do that everyday. So what is the big deal about Thanksgiving for us?
Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for giving thanks. Can you imagine being that guy we started out with? Gratefulness for being grateful. If you can let go for a minute and let love in and give love out you will know what we are talking about here. The man that has a new fancy pantsy automobile may not even be grateful for having it. I am super grateful for my 2004 beat up old Corolla. We ask the simple question; Who is happier the man who has little and is thankful for it - Or the man who has much but is not thankful for it.?
Old family photo
Why not have a song about happy?
Difference between thankfulness and gratefulness.
There probably is not great difference between thankfulness and gratefulness. But let us try for a distinction. We start with happy and joy. We do not say "he is filled with happiness" usually. We say "he is filled with joy". Happy is a fleeting moment of a feeling. Joy is a deep abiding conviction that joy is where we should be and then the strength or grace to make it so. Joy don't come and go!
There were two men diagnosed with cancerous Lymphoma on the same date. One was filled with joy and the other not, although he was generally happy. The one man was grateful that the diagnosis came so early and the condition treatable. The man with no joy was sad and despondent over his possible death sentence. So probably both men were not thankful for the diagnosis. But one found something to be grateful for.
So now we see thankfulness is akin to happiness. While gratefulness is akin to joy.
We were on a brutal cross-canyon hike in the Grand Canyon and the temperature was an easy 110 in the shade. We were tired and exhausted and had four miles to go to get to water which we desperately needed. Man I tell you that every step with that great big old backpack was painful to the core. Being 3 Christian mucks we started thanking God for our aches and pains. And we laughed at our silliness. This got us another 2.5 miles. But it did not get us all the way home. Then we began to discuss how grateful we were to be where we were and to be feeling so alive. This carried with speed to our camp and water. God got the glory that day. Not because God picked us up and transported us but that He led us to be grateful and that gratefulness was the gift that got us home.
Kind of an interesting notion. Kind of nonsensical if you look at it with common eyes. But if you look at it through the eyes of love it makes perfect sense. I often thank God for my appreciation of my wife. I could be so blessed with her and not even get it.
Is it love
There is no certainty here in what I say except for me. Love changes happy into joy and thanks into grateful. I can tell you that my life stinks. Or the words out of my mouth could say that I have a great life. Same life. A favorite of mine is young little people. If my mind is clouded with the troubles of the world then it is like babysitting. If my mind is centered on my young friends it is like happy joyous childhood every second. We could call that being in the moment. I call it being in love. My life ain't a great life but it is my life and I love it. So I am thankful for it and it is another wonder filled day.
Be thankful, be grateful, be happy and be in joy today. Yesterday was thanksgiving let today and everyday be filled with love and you can celebrate your thanks everyday!
Was it okay?
Was it alright to publish a sermon on giving thanks after Thanksgiving?
Just some thoughts
If I am content with what I have today, what could I possibly need?
Life is often exactly the way it is supposed to be, God grant me the wisdom to see it that way.
Love is not really ever given away, it is only shared.
My thanks are my thanks, I hope you have yours.
Pain is often a wake up call to be grateful just for not having it.
If you are not thankful, give a child a hug, I promise you will then be thankful.