There is an argument to be made for the Christian roots of Halloween. The very name is created from the words Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day. But let’s be honest, unless you’re Roman Catholic most American do not celebrate All Saints (or even know what it is). Would you celebrate Christmas Eve if you didn’t believe in Christmas? Halloween may also have roots in paganism, and is certainly associated today with the occult and many “non-Christian” activities as well. Continue reading
Christimas is the celebration of Jesus’s birth, but there is no biblical command to observe it. There are however feasts, songs and prayers of thanksgiving are all over the Bible. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Christmas; during his lifetime Jesus was an observant Jew, and every indication is that he ovserved all the Jewish festivals, including the historical ones not just the religious festivals commanded in scripture. The arrival of “God with us” is a major turning point in all of history. But we are commanded to praise God and give thanks. Moses sang songs of thanksgiving, David composed them. James reminds us that “every good gift and perfect gift is from above.” The United States was the first country to observe a national holiday for giving thanks.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! -Psalm 100:4
The word thanksgiving appears 9 times in the Psalms. It appears a total of 42 times in the ESV Bible. Click here to see them all. If you look up variants, such as “give thanks,” you will find many more. Whatever you read, however you celebrate, do not forget to thank God. No matter what this year has been like, there is much to be thankful for.
This post is very personal and way too long; but I feel it’s a story that must be told.
You don’t hear about it much anymore, but during the 70’s a concept known as equal time or equal opportunity was hotly debated. Television stations had to provide an equal amount of broadcasting time for both sides of a political issue. 1959 and 1971 are banner years regarding amendments and exemptions to the Congressional Act if you get really interested. I just wanted everyone to remember there was such a thing.
For a number of years, it didn’t look like my wife and I would be having any children. We were married in 1997; in 2002 she tested positive for the first time on a pregnancy test. We laughed, we cried, then we called everybody we knew. We started picking out names, and one person wanted to be the first to give the baby a gift. Then around 12 weeks or so we made a trip to the emergency room, and found out the she had already miscarried. The event was traumatic; much worse than never becoming pregnant at all. Continue reading
Tomorrow is Sunday, November 23, and Thanksgiving Day is the following Thursday. I will be preaching this sermon in the morning, perhaps it will be a blessing to someone here as well. Anyone may feel free to use this material in a way that brings glory and honor to God.
We are going to begin with 4 scripture readings, used at different times during the service. You will note that there is one reading each from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and a Gospel. The final reading is the text of the sermon. Continue reading