Grace and peace…
Our text this evening is Deuteronomy 8:1-10
Christmas is about remembering our Savior. Easter is about remembering our salvation. And Thanksgiving, well its about remembering everything else that God has done for us. Tomorrow, as the platters, plates, and pie pans are filled, emptied, and filled again, the day can be summed-up with 4 little words: “Thanksgiving is about remembering.”
Moses knew how important it was for God’s people to remember everything that the Lord God had done for them. “Remember,” he said, “remember, and do not forget.” And Moses repeated that message over and over again. Tonight, Moses’ words speak to us. Remember what the Lord has done for you: He sent His Son Jesus to deliver you from sin and death by His own suffering, death, and resurrection. He rescued you from the power of the devil. He drowned your sinful nature in the water of Holy Baptism. Then God put His name on you, and you brought you into His family. From that day on, God has loved you, cared for you, and blessed you day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. That is what we must remember!
But a proper observance of Thanksgiving involves the whole person, not just the mind and memory. So when Moses said, “remember,” he wasn’t testing the Hebrews to see what they remembered. God wanted their whole life to be one of constant remembrance, for them to remember the Lord God not just with their minds, but with their entire life! As a child of your parents, you received all that they were able to give you. You lived in their house, you sat at their table, you ate their food, and you called to them when you were in need. You enjoyed all the benefits of being a part of the family. So it is for those who are children of God.
Here in church, its easier for us to remember God and our spiritual family. This is your Father’s house; this altar is His, and here He feeds you the Lord’s Supper. We call Him, “Abba,” “Father,” and you turn to Him when you are in need. This is your life as a “Child of God.” And one of God’s greatest joys is to respond to the wants and needs of His children, the wants and needs of your heart.
God is delighted to give to you, to provide for you, to answer you when your call upon Him. God does these things here in His House, and He does those things there in your house. Your house, your table, your food, your prayers, these are all gifts your Heavenly Father has blessed you with, along with the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean caserole, and pumpkin pie you’ll enjoy tomorrow.
Moses spoke these words to the children of God: “The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and you can dig copper. You shall eat and be filled, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land He has given to you.” God gives; we receive. And in receiving we remember whose we are, and from whom all our blessings come.
The best legacy a child can leave to their father is intergity. “You shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him; to love as He loves and forgive as He forgives.” We live a life God will bless when we keep His commandments and walk in His ways; when we love and forgive as God loves and forgives us.
We are constantly being distracted by the world and often forget both who we are and whose we are. Tomorrow, on the Day of Thanksgiving, remember who you are. You belong to God, purchased and adopted, freed and won by the blood of Jesus Christ. Live each day as one redeemed by Christ the Crucified. Remember all that God has done for you and given to you. Remember with both your head and your heart.
So go ahead. Pile-on the turkey and dressing, the potatoes and gravy, the pie and whipped cream. Tell your stories, and delight in all that your Heavenly Father has so graciously given to you. Amen!