First Lesson Sermons For Sundays After Pentecost (Last Third) Cycle C
Thanksgiving: How do we say thanks authentically and not lapse into the platitudes so often associated with this holiday? There are several dangers associated with the holiday. Ever since it was instituted as a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln, and even before when various state governors instituted it in their states, Thanksgiving has not been a strictly Christian holiday. There has been a lot of nationalism and self-congratulations associated with this day. What is the distinctively Christian way to give thanks to God for all the good things that we have?
Wilton Lewis stood with his hands on his hips, studying the sanctuary wall, not trusting himself to speak. He wanted to spit, was thwarted by the fact that he was inside, and instead swallowed hard and said, “This is vile. Disgusting and vile.” He turned to his right and added, “I apologize, Reverend Cashmore. This does not represent the good people of Port William. You know that, I hope.”
Since Albert Einstein is considered the genius above all geniuses, he is often credited quotes he never said. (If Einstein said it, it must be true.) That includes the saying that insanity is defined as doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result. Actually, it wasn't until the 1980's that he was first connected to that saying, but it doesn't matter who actually said it, because these three scriptures seem to validate the saying.
Seven years ago, our family moved from southern Virginia to northeast Wisconsin. As you might expect, spring comes later here. Fall comes earlier. And winter is a much different experience in northeast Wisconsin than it was in southern Virginia. The same temperatures that seemed bone-chilling in Virginia are good reason to leave the mufflers and mittens at home in Wisconsin. Of course, many of the retired folks in my congregation here take their cue from the geese and fly south for the winter each year.