In The Bleak Midwinter (Ruth 1:1-22)
Topic: Sermons Passage: Ruth 1:1–1:22
Well, this week we celebrate Thanksgiving. Joanne and I are currently in Pennsylvania enjoying the cries of “Grandma” “Grandpa” “No” “Don’t touch” “MINE” and the host of other things toddlers say. And while mom’s scramble to rescue the particular child, mostly I laugh. My granddaughter Emma blew me kisses for about 5 minutes this morning and, of course, I forgot to recharge my phone so no cute pictures. But we have much to be thankful for. And while, like many of you, I’m thankful for my family, I’m also very thankful for you, my church family.
If Thanksgiving is supposed to be about expressing thanks, then I owe each of you a heartfelt note. In fact, of all the things for which I ought to be grateful, you’re near the top of the list. Over the past year since last Thanksgiving, each of you found awesome ways to inspire, correct, amaze, teach and delight my soul. Because of you I am humbled and blessed to be your Pastor. So I hope your Thanksgiving celebrations are packed with joy and rest. Be encouraged your neighbors are blessed to have you in their lives. Be encouraged the One who called you to himself still loves and adores you. Be encouraged because there are people who know that it is worth getting out of bed in the morning because God has used you to press into their lives. It is nothing less than a high privilege to be your brother and friend. Know that you are never alone and that at the very least, you have made life sweeter for this preacher and his family.
But it helps to remember that Thanksgiving isn’t just about great food (love that!) and family and friends. Most of all, it’s about God. There are dozens of passages that remind us, command us, encourage and exhort us to be thankful people. So, observe a wonderful Thanksgiving but realize that a proper Christian Thanksgiving is a deeply theological act that requires an active mind as well as a thankful heart. We need to think deeply, widely, carefully, and faithfully about the countless reasons for our thankfulness to God.
This week we start the Advent Season preparing our hearts for the Incarnation of Christ. We are taking a short break from Exodus and will be looking at “Christmas in Ruth” starting with Ruth, chapter one. The Old Testament Book of Ruth has a lot to teach us about love in hard times. And in the end, somehow, it all leads us back to Jesus and the Gospel (Wow, just like Exodus, who knew?) So come this Sunday and hear for yourself. See you there! Dr. Dave