Trinity United Methodist Charge
Friday, December 14, 2018

Message from Pastor Sam

Trinity Charge UMC

 

Thanksgiving Letter 2018

 

 

Dear mother earth, who day by day unfoldest blessings on our way, Alleluia! Alleluia!  The flowers and fruits that in thee

let them God's glory also show!

O praise ye! O praise ye!  Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!  (UMH pg.62)  
 

                                                                                                                 Thanksgiving 2018

Dear Friends,

       The above words are found in our Hymnal. The Hymn All Creatures of Our God and King was originally composed by Francis of Assisi in 1225 and in 1987 was adapted to the version we now sing.  In most versions of this hymn, the 4th verse is different. In this modern version, we are called to give thanks and cry out to an awesome and Powerful, God O praise Ye! O Praise Ye! Alleluia! Alleluia!

      In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving. It had been a long, cold, deadly winter but they had survived. They had finally figured out how to make it in this new land. I am sure that there were at times a question if the quest for religious freedom was worth it, or not. Yet in the end, they surely were grateful for what they had received from mother earth and were grateful for the Heavenly Father seeing them through. The first Thanksgiving, I believe, was much focused around being thankful for their blessings.

    The question I have today is how thankful are you? Are you thankful enough to sing praise and Alleluia?  For so many people, the praise and Alleluia has been lost somewhere between the turkey dinner and the black Friday sales and everything in between. Someone recently said to me the stores are already in “Christmas Mode” and we haven’t eaten the turkey yet! Maybe it is time we stop and focus upon being thankful for what we have been blessed with, no matter how great or small.

    Thanksgiving, for me, has been a time of family, of being together and thankfulness. I think the words of this hymn can help us all to be reminded to take time and give God thanks. Someone recently said that other than Christmas and Easter, Thanksgiving was their favorite Holiday because it was about giving thanks. Another said that there is great beauty in the fall colors and harvest; and knowing this person, a time spent with family should be added in. Think about your own life; what makes Thanksgiving special for You?

   Paul, in his first letter to the Thessalonians, reminds us that we are to give thanks for all things, because it is the will of God (1st Thessalonians 5:18). That means that no matter what, we should offer praise to God in the good times and the bad. That means we can find thanks in our everyday lives, and that we should find time to praise God daily.  As Christians, we must know that our praise and thanksgiving is what God desires of us.  God’s word says that our praise and thanks are a pleasing aroma to the Heavenly Father, more desired even than sacrifices.  We should indeed praise God daily, yet we should also know that corporate praise is important. Our Bishop (Saundra Steiner Ball) says that our praise time in worship is equal to or greater than our time of Prayer Concerns; for praise is a sign of a healthy Christian, and a healthy Church.

   I encourage you to give thanks. It does not only build us up but Praise is good for the one offering the Praise as well for the one hearing it.

 

Blessings,