Pastor's Pen 11/22/2016
A Message From Pastor Berndt
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Thanksgiving is a part of the Christian life. To be thankful does not come naturally. We remind our children to say "thank you". Kids’ favorite word is "mine".
God is giving you good gifts out of His mercy.
God has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, an still preserves them… all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true. (1st Article)
These are great gifts that the Lord gives to you. The greatest gift God gives to you is His Son Jesus. The temporal gifts will run out one day, but not the gift of Jesus. This is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17) Jesus redeemed you from sin, death and devil with His Blood shed on the Cross.
Be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3)
Rejoice in the hearing of God's Word proclaimed to you. We are to speak the Word of God to one another with thankfulness in our hearts to God. Thanksgiving is not equal to happiness. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes. Thanksgiving is a state of being – living in Christ. I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (Philippians 4)
We do not relegate thanksgiving to one day a year. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. (James 1) The heart of being thankful comes from receiving. This is not health, wealth and prosperity. What the Lord has given you is Jesus. Jesus in His Word, Jesus in Baptism, Jesus in the Lord's Supper filling you up with life and salvation.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (1 Chronicles 16)
Rejoice in receiving God's gifts in Christ that reign eternal. (Benedicamus) Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. God sends us forth with His Blessing in the Benediction. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Voices Raised to You We Offer LSB 795:5
How can any praise we offer
Measure all the thanks we owe?
Take our hearts and hands and voices—
Gifts of love we can bestow.
Triune God, to You we sing!
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