yearB thanksgiving
 


Sermon For This Week:

     Mark 13:1-8  -  The Bedrock of Faith
     Ephesians 5:20  -  In All Thinsgs Be Thankful

Sermon #1 - Have you ever tried to make a prediction? Here are some predictions from the past. All from people who were trusted individuals:

 

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1943 said, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." 

 

Popular Mechanics magazine in 1949 made this prediction: "Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 tons."

 

There was an inventor by the name of Lee DeForest. He claimed that "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility."

 

The Decca Recording Co. made a big mistake when they made this prediction: "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." That was their prediction in 1962 concerning a few lads form Liverpool. Their band was called the Beatles.

 

As the disciples walked out of the Temple in Jerusalem Jesus paused, looked back at the Temple and predicted, "Do you see all these great buildings. Not one stone will be left on another." To the disciples this was bedrock. Nothing could bring down these walls. "Look, teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!" they said to Jesus.

 

The smallest stones in the structure weighed 2 to 3 tons. Many of them weighed 50 tons. The largest existing stone, part of the Wailing Wall, is 12 meters in length and 3 meters high, and it weighs hundreds of tons! The stones were so immense that neither mortar nor any other binding material was used between the stones. Their stability was attained by the great weight of the stones. The walls towered over Jerusalem, over 400 feet in one area. Inside the four walls was 45 acres of bedrock mountain shaved flat and during Jesus' day a quarter of a million people could fit comfortably within the structure. No sports structure in America today comes close.

 

You can then understand the disciplesí surprise. As they walked down the Kidron Valley and up mount olive Peter, James, and John wanted to hear more. Jesus' prediction that a structure so immense would be leveled to the ground seemed implausible. But they pressed Jesus for more information. They wanted to know when. What would be the sign that this was about to take place? In their voice was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that their lives were about to change forever. Jesus had not made any predictions like this one. This was different. This, they could understand.

 

Forty years later Jesus' prediction came true. In 70 AD the Temple was destroyed by Rome. What are we to learn from this prediction and its fulfillment?

 

1. The bedrock of faith is not in Temples.

2. The bedrock of faith is not in Signs.

3. The bedrock of faith is in Christ.

 

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Sermon #2 - Back during the dark days of 1929, a group of ministers in the Northeast, all graduates of the Boston School of Theology, gathered to discuss how they should conduct their Thanksgiving Sunday services. Things were about as bad as they could get, with no sign of relief. The bread lines were depressingly long, the stock market had plummeted, and the term Great Depression seemed an apt description for the mood of the country. The ministers thought they should only lightly touch upon the subject Thanksgiving in deference to the human misery all about them. After all, there was to be thankful for. But it was Dr. William L. Stiger, pastor of a large congregation in the city that rallied the group. This was not the time, he suggested, to give mere passing mention to Thanksgiving, just the opposite. This was the time for the nation to get matters in perspective and thank God for blessings always present, but perhaps suppressed due to intense hardship.

 

I suggest to you the ministers struck upon something. The most intense moments of thankfulness are not found in times of plenty, but when difficulties abound. Think of the Pilgrims that first Thanksgiving. Half their number dead, men without a country, but still there was thanksgiving to God. Their gratitude was not for something but in something. It was that same sense of gratitude that lead Abraham Lincoln to formally establish the first Thanksgiving Day in the midst of national civil war, when the butcherís list of casualties seemed to have no end and the very nation struggled for survival.

 

Perhaps in your own life, right now, intense hardship. You are experiencing your own personal Great Depression. Why should you be thankful this day? May I suggest three things?

 

1. We must learn to be thankful or we become bitter.

2. We must learn to be thankful or we will become discouraged.

3. We must learn to be thankful or we will grow arrogant and self-satisfied.

 

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sermons.com presents Leonard Sweet