Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008: sermon notes

Today's readings were Deuteronomy 8:1-10, Philippians 4:4-13, and Luke 17:11-19 (sermon text).

What is it like to be near - but never with - your family? What's it like to be slowly dying? Is this prison? No; it's leprosy in first-century Israel. It's existence, not life. Therefore Christ, upon seeing the ten lepers, effectively says "Get a life!" He likewise gives life to all, including those afflicted by various hurts of body and spirit.

The world tells Christians to "get a life" in a different, hostile sense. But is this religion of ours really a crutch? Not if it relies on Jesus, the only Way, only Truth, only Life. We have life because He is life. The nine Jewish former lepers who didn't return to give thanks didn't realize this.

The blood of Christ crucified is the cure for the terminal disease, sin, of all people. Hence, by it we are cleansed to stand before God, as the lepers did, and to give thanks with our own Blood brothers and sisters in the whole Church! Rejoice and give thanks for all God's gifts today, including this most precious one. Be like the one Samaritan who came back: understand your terminal disease (in fact, it has already killed you if you haven't repented), come to Christ, and thank Him for the forgiveness He gives.

This service was at my home church, as will be Sunday's.

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