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 Thanksgiving Day
  Worship and Sermon Resources

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Hymns & Songs

Hymns: What Gift Can We Bring; We Gather Together; Come Ye Thankful People;
Now Thank We All Our God; For the Beauty of the Earth; His Eye is on the Sparrow; Praise And Thanksgiving (Lutheran hymnal- tune is "Morning Has Broken")

Choruses:
I'm Forever Grateful;
Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

"Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ his Son.
And now let the weak say "I am strong"; let the poor say "I am rich"
Because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks!"

 

Prayers

The following Psalms are appropriate to use as calls to worship:
Psalm 33, 45, 66, 67, 92, 111, 136, 126

A Thanksgiving Prayer

For the haunting rhythm of our universe,
we thank you, Creator and Lord.
For the still-reaching reachers of our world,
we thank you, Creator and Lord.

For giving us a history and a destiny,
we thank you, Redeemer and Lord.
For becoming yourself, a man among men,
we thank you, Redeemer and Lord.

For drawing us into the mystery of life and love,
we thank you, Spirit and Lord.
For touching us with stars and blades of grass,
we thank you, Spirit and Lord.

Amen.

 

A Litany of Thanksgiving:

Leader:



People:
Leader:

People:
 
Leader:

People: 
Leader:

People:
 
Leader:

People: 
Leader: 

People:
Leader:
People:
Leader: 
People: 
Leader:

People:
Let us give thanks to God for all the gifts so freely bestowed upon us;
For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea,
We thank you, O God.
For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women,
 revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, O God.
For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,
We thank you, O God.
For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, O God.
For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and
 play,
We thank you, O God.
For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, O God.
For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, O God.
For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, O God.
Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and
promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord:
To Christ be praise and glory, with you, O God, and the Holy Spirit now and forever.  Amen.

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Children's Messages:

 

 

The Gratitude Attitude
a kids' talk based on the theme of thanks-giving
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

Hi boys and girls, today we will talk about a very important word.   And that word is . . . "thanks."  If I didn't know better I'd say this word has magical powers.  You know why?  Because it makes people smile.   Have you ever noticed that?  It doesn't always work, but most of the time when we say "thank you" to someone, they smile.  It makes them feel good to be thanked.

When do you use that word "thanks?"  When do you say "thanks" to someone?  (let the children name examples and encourage their answers).

I have another question: do you think that we can say "thanks" to God too? (Nod slightly to encourage the yes answer) What do you think, does God smile when you say "thank you" to him?  (Nod slightly).  Yes, you are absolutely right: the bible tells us that God likes our offerings of thanksgiving and praise.  It makes God feel good.

And actually, that's what we're doing today (tonight): we have a Thanksgiving Service.  What do we thank God for? (let the children give answers, help only if they are stuck; if you have fruits/ears of grain, etc. on the altar you may want to point to them).

How about if we give God thanks right now and pray a little prayer together?


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A Child's Thanksgiving Prayer
(may be prayed by the entire congregation)

On Thanksgiving Day,
I thank God for my family and my sister.
I thank God for the rain and the sun.
I thank God for my Teddy Bear.
I thank God for my teachers and for my friends.
I thank you, God, for life and love.

On Thanksgiving Day,
I pray to God for all the poor people
who are hungry today because
they have no food, no home, no family
and no friends. They are all alone.
Only God remembers the poor.

On Thanksgiving Day,
I pray for the children who are hungry,
who have no parents, and no loving church.
I pray that God will spend Thanksgiving with them.
Please God visit me and love me;
I am not poor, but I love you too.


Sermons

Sermons:


We Know Who You Are
John 6:35, 41-51
anonymous
  
H
ave you ever noticed that it is very difficult to escape your reputation? Once people have an image of you in their minds, it is very difficult to change their perception.

Jesus encountered this attitude among those who thought they knew Him. He lived in a small town, in a small country. The little village of Nazareth where He grew up was tiny. In the time of Jesus, the village of Nazareth took up no more space than a football field. Everybody knew everybody in Nazareth. People knew Jesus' mother and father. They would have even known Him as He worked at His trade in His father's carpenter shop. Perhaps He had built a piece of furniture for them or replaced a handle on one of their favorite tools or made a yoke for their oxen. After all, He did not begin His ministry until He was about thirty years old. For most of His adult life He labored in as a carpenter or builder.

You can imagine how these people responded when suddenly Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the One prophesied by the prophets. We read in today's lesson that His fellow countrymen began to grumble about Jesus because He said that He was the bread that came down from heaven. They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose mother and father we know?"

We can appreciate their disbelief for we have done the same thing to people. We put them in a box. We assign them to a category. We know where they came from, we know who their parents are, we know where they went to school, we can tell by their accent or by their appearance about their background and we make certain assumptions. And because we make those assumptions, we treat them in a certain way. Maybe, if we are a teacher, we subtly overlook them in class. If we are a police officer, perhaps we are a little more aggressive when we pull them over to the curb. If we are the president of the company, perhaps it slants the way we regard them when it comes time for a raise or a promotion.

Oh, none of this is intentional of course. We may not even be conscious of it. It simply saves our brains the time and energy of sorting out people individually. So, we sort them out by category. That is what the folks in today's text were doing: "We know who you are. You are Mary and Joseph's son. You're from Nazareth. That's farming country, isn't it? People are a little slow there. Well, maybe we can find a job for you that's not too taxing mentally." Do you think such things do not happen? Then you are naive. That is the way the human brain seems to operate.

Robert Schuller once asked one of his colleagues, "What's one of the most vivid memories you have of going to school as a child?" Here's what his colleague told him:

"In the third grade, we were asked to stand up in front of the class and say what we wanted to be when we grew up. Now, I went to a fairly strict school, and every time you were asked to stand before the class, it was a pretty serious matter. I remember very distinctly one girl who stood up and said, 'I'm going to be a movie star.' As I remember, there wasn't anything special about this girl. She wasn't very pretty. Her grades were average, some of them were even below average. She didn't come from a wealthy family. In fact, the only thing I really remember about her was the class laughing at her. The whole class laughed at her. And I remember she just stood there smiling, as if she knew something the rest of us didn't. I don't remember ever seeing that girl again in school. Now I see her all the time. She's one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Every time I sit in the movie theater and watch her up there on the silver screen, I think, 'She was always so proud of who she was. She had a dream she always held onto.' Back then," he concluded, "they laughed at her. Now they pay to see her. I'm glad I didn't laugh."

They laughed at Jesus. "Bread from heaven? We know where you came from. You're Mary and Joseph's son." Be careful when you judge anyone else's potential..... Subscribers: click here to access all listed resources and more