Scripture Text: John 20:1-2
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. It's also a time of preparation. How do we do this? We do this in the following ways:
I. No Look (John 20:1-2)
First, there is no look. In John 20:1-2, we see Mary Magdalene going to the tomb, but because of the outside appearance she didn't enter. How many of us as Christians stop before we tell someone about Jesus just because of his or her outside appearance? We can do nothing and just let Thanksgiving roll on by without all the fixings and the gatherings. There are many people today who are not ready to look because:
1. They are not ready to forget the past.
2. They are not ready to forgive hurt.
3. They are not ready to find help
A. Afraid to Look (
First, we may be afraid to look. Some of us may be afraid to look because we fear the unknown, or because we fear the past events will reoccur, or we may be afraid to look because we do not want to be hurt. Looking is also applied as hearing. Are we afraid to hear God? Moses was afraid to look because of what he was hearing.
B. Cloudy Look (
Second, we may have a cloudy look. We don't want to change the lenses so we can see clearly. Are we looking in the wrong direction? We must stop and get a clear view (
C. Undecisive Look (
Third, we may have an undeceive look. Are we afraid to make the wrong decision? We don't know which way to go.
D. Non-Judgmental Look (
Fourth, we may have a non-judgment look. Are we letting others walk all over us?
E. Better than Others Look (
Finally, we may have the better than others look. Are we walking all over others?
II. Stopped and Looked (
Second, we see the stop and look. Do we care what is going on around us? Are we letting curiosity getting the best of us as did Lot's wife (
1. Because we live in a free country;
2. Because we have a right to choose our God;
Thanksgiving is a time to know when we are to be thankful:
1. Not just when we feel like it;
2. Not just because we have to;
3. Not just because we celebrate Thanksgiving.
III. Went and Looked (
Finally, there see some may have the Went and Looked look. Thanksgiving is approaching. Years ago, we could say it's slowly approaching, but with all the hype and commercialism for stores, we are slowly forgetting what Thanksgiving does:
A. It Prepares Us for Christmas
First, it prepares us for Christmas. How can we be prepared if we are not truly thankful? We need to know what steps to take to be prepared. We need to make a list for what we need to be prepared:
1. Cost: What will it cost?
2. Components: What do we need?
3. Collection: Where do we get these items?
4. Composure: How do we set it all up?
These are the steps to take in the secular world, but what about the Christian aspect?
B. It Makes Us Aware of Why We Celebrate
Finally, it makes us aware of why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Our forefathers gave of themselves so we would have a land to call our own. Jesus gave of Himself so we would have a future home for ourselves.
Let us look at what Thanksgiving does:
1. Thanksgivig Proves a Need for Christmas: We need to allow Jesus room in our lives.
2. Thanksgiving Provides a Way to Christmas: We need Jesus always.
Simon Peter was prepared. He knew what to do. Simon Peter had the proof. He allowed Jesus room in his life. He shared the provision. He made a stand to believe.
As we think of Thanksgiving, we are reminded to take a look. We never should be too busy to take a time to be thankful. We need to stop and take a look. We need to go and look.