Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Thanksgiving and Sharing Pastor Alvin Holmgren
Our national day of thanks provides an opportunity for us to count our blessings. It is a special heritage we have received from our pilgrim fathers. The desire for freedom of worship prompted them to come to this new land. The worship of God was the important priority of their lives. It caused them to embark upon a long and dangerous sea journey and a challenging venture to establish homes in a new and unexplored land. But they set out! Freedom at all costs was their goal!
From those early coloniat days, this good example has been followed in our nation. We believe that the first thanksgiving was not only a feast on the harvest of their crops, but a festival of thanks to the Lord for His providence--for sparing their lives, for religious freedom, for ample food, and for the friends they had made among the natives. Together these two peoples shared a feast of thanksgiving.
Traditionally thanksgiving has been a time of sharing with our extended family and friends. It is a happy occasion when we can sit down together with our loved ones at tables laden with food, enjoying the heritage of freedom which has been obtained and preserved for us throught the blessing of God and the sacrifices of many sons and daughters. We owe a debt of gratitude to our Heavenly Father and to the early fathers of this nation. May our hearts respond with gratitude and praise this thanksgiving.
For us as Christians there should be an additional dimension to our thanksgiving. May it not only be a time of sharing with our own, but a sharing that extends beyond the circle of family and friends.
We have many blessings to share. First of all, we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. OUr gratitude to God for His salvation can best be expressed by sharing the hope we have with others. When we possess something as valuable as eternal life, we want all others to become partakers of it, too. To say that we value this gift of eternal life and be unwilling to share that hope with others is a contradiction. Jesus said: "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God, but he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8-9)
The practical side of our Christianity is the giving of ourselves and of our talents and of our goods. When St. Paul was enroute to Jerusalem for the last time, he spoke touching message to the Ephesian elders. He said: "And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city saying that boinds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know ye all, among whom I ahve gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face not more" (Acts 20:22-25) Then he charged them with these words: "I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35)

(Reprinted from November 1986)
Posted on 09 Nov 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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