Pastor's Message

Gratitude or Gravy?

Although Thanksgiving seems to have become all about the turkey and gravy, the real meaning obviously isn't lost on you. That is good because, as George Bernard Shaw contended, a person who is incapable of gratitude knows no noble sentiments at all. After all, he said, "Even dogs are grateful."

Joel Gregory, who was, for a time, the co-pastor of First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas, told a story about a family who gathered around the table for their Thanksgiving dinner. Somehow, the five-year-old was selected to say the blessing. He started off by thanking the turkey for how wonderful he knew it would taste, describing each culinary nuance in great detail.

When everyone's taste buds were fully salivating, he began to trace the turkey's origins. He expressed gratitude for the turkey's mother and father, and he spoke of his appreciation for the farmer who fed the turkey. He also was thankful for the farmer who grew the grain the turkey was fed.

On and on he went, until, at last, he told of his undying gratitude for the stock clerk who put the turkey in the freezer at the grocery store and the cashier who checked the turkey out for his mother to bring it home to cook. With his Columbo-like mind, he followed the turkey from egg to table and expressed appreciation for each contributor. When he was done he looked up and said, "Did I leave anybody out?"

His very wise six-year-old sister said, "Yes. God."

"Oh," he said, "I was getting to that."

Sometimes it seems that, by the way we lead our lives and our constant focus on our struggles and problems, we never get around to God and all the things we have to be grateful for. Even when we feel gratitude, it is for good events that happen to us or nice things that come our way. Still, we don't often get around to the God of the event or the things, even though the Bible tells us that EVERY good and perfect gift comes from above.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Rev. Norm