An Abundance of Possessions

Last Sunday of Pentecost/Thanksgiving Sunday
Scripture: St. Luke 12:15-31

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, we should be thankful and praise the Lord for all our earthly blessings, including the spiritual blessings that He offers to each and everyone.

Many are in great need for even the things we have to just survive. Jesus said to his disciples and to you and me, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”

Scripture tells us of the rich farmer who had a great problem. The crops and his fields had produced such an abundance of grain that when it was all gathered in he would have no room for it in his barn. Then he reasoned with himself. He decided to tear down his small barn and build much larger one. Then he would have all the storage he needed, allowing him to sit back and enjoy life.

But Jesus threw him a curve ball, warning that his life was almost over. He asked His disciples (and you and me) who would get the fruits of his labors and his worry? Who would reap his great harvest?

Earthly possessions are like a great sandcastle built on the shores of the sea. When the high tide come in and the water flows over it, it will be destroyed! When the sea recedes at low tide, there will be no evidence that it even existed.

I saw and witnessed a human tragedy. A man told me that he live on the wrong side of the tracks. Life was rough and they had very very little. Though a miracle of God, he was able to get a good education and earned a degree in business. He became a wealthy businessman during the oil boom in Alaska and had a large company with many employees. They repaired and sold equipment needed to produce oil. He build a large beautiful home on a bluff overlooking cook inlet near Kenia River Peninsula. He remarked more than once in my presence that he was a self-made man. That he deserved everything he had, but all his earthly possessions came at a tremendous price.

He was a failure as a husband and father of two sons. His wife told me that she would divorce him instantly if it were not for the two boys. In her state of mind, she started drinking. She was having a tremendous problem with alcohol. The boys were in high school and excellent in sports and academics; they were also hooked on drugs. Family life was shot! They had plenty of material goods, but she was the only one who occasionally came to church.

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, what are you and I really thankful for?

I pray we are thankful for much more that a large family gathering with a table piled high with a large turkey in the middle of the table, mash and sweet potatoes, all sorts of vegetables and fruits, a large assortment of pastries, and pumpkin pie piled high with cool whip. While it’s a special time with family and friends, the real reason we should celebrate Thanksgiving is to thank and bless our Lord for His divine presence in our lives!

I recall that a few years ago as I prayed over our Thanksgivings dinner – perhaps praying a little longer than I should – as I paused just momentarily one of my young grandsons said, “Amen!”  The whole laughed and that ended my prayer and the family started filling their plates.

Who did you invite to share your Thanksgiving dinner with? There is a knock on your door. There is a stranger. He looks like he hadn’t changed clothes or shaved for weeks. He says, “I am hungry and cold. Could I possibly get something to eat?”

In your shock of seeing him, you thought, “Wait a moment.” And then you make him a brown bag. He thanks you, turns, and is gone.

In my state of mind after this real encounter, I remembered Hebrews 13:2 saying, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

What do you thing would happen if we had invited him in to sit at the table? Let us pray!
Happy Thanksgiving from Pastor P. and Judy!