“Receiving Your Daily Bread With Thanksgiving!” 1 Tim. 2:1-4

November 24, 2021
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

1 Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices, Who wondrous things has done, In whom His world rejoices; Who from our mothers' arms Has blest us on our way With countless gifts of love And still is ours today. Sermon for thanksgiving eve, 11/24/21, preached at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, IN by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

Thanksgiving Eve                                                 24-November-21
Sermon Text: 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Sermon Theme: “Receiving Your Daily Bread With Thanksgiving!”

I.N.R.I. “A quiet and peaceable life...” is what humanity was gifted in the garden. Molding man from the clay, breathing into his lifeless body, life from the Lord and Giver of life was gifted. Man became a living being, but he was not yet complete. Adam named every beast of the field, but he was still alone. The Lord caused him to sleep, opened his side and from his flesh, blood, and bone built woman. The man was married to the woman. Adam rejoiced to be complete in she who was “bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh.” God blessed their marriage and called them to fill the earth with children. Only then God proclaimed His creation “very good” fulfilling the purpose for which it was called forth from nothing. Honoring its Creator and serving mankind as Adam and his wife cared for the earth and all in it.
        It was a quiet life in Eden. The Lord God provided every tree beautiful to behold and good for food. A river flowed from Eden with pure life sustaining water in the four cardinal directions. Adam rejoiced to work. Tending and keeping the property entrusted to him by his Creator. Nurturing and caring for his lovely bride. Quietly the Lord God called them to commune with Him at the Tree of Life. The Creator had prepared a feast to share with His creatures that they might live together. Talk face to face with each other. Walk together in community. God and man dwelt together - all was very good. Peace between the Creator and the crown of His creation mankind. The Lord God didn’t force man’s obedience. He blessed man with a free will and gave him an altar in which to exercise his love towards God by obeying His rule. Eat from the Tree of Life with God. Trust the Lord God and refrain from eating of the forbidden tree of knowing deadly evil.
        “Peace and quiet” isn’t how most of us would describe our lives. Our thanksgivings may only be “peaceful and quiet” because loved ones have died, or family cannot be together. The quiet is deafening and our hearts are robbed of any peace. Peace may only be an illusion as husbands and wives absorbed by their screens don’t talk with each other, as their children long for someone to break through the quiet white noise of the blue screen listening and really talking to them - instead of at them. Peace and quiet are shattered as “Black Friday” expands to “Black November” and screams bargains. Our greed and covetous idolatry is never satisfied, never finds peace or quiet in the stuff it grabs - still it is certain that one more “bargain” and it will be found. Our restlessness and noise is just a symptom of lives torn from their Creator. St. Augustine was correct writing in his “Confessions”, ““Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”
    Peace and quiet was shattered on the day father Adam listened to the voice of Satan hissing the lie. The lie that God isn’t our true Father who loves and cares for us. The lie that God’s Word and feast are not enough for life. The lie that we can do better than our Creator, become our own gods, and take what we want when we want it. Adam’s rebellion plunged us all into restlessness and constant noise of war. War against our God. War against one another. War against the voice of conscience holding us accountable to our Creator’s Word.
      Thanksgiving calls us to turn from the noise and restlessness of our dying culture. It is a call to listen to the still small voice of Jesus calling, “Where are you?” “What have you done?” Hear Him, “Peace -be of good cheer your sins are forgiven you!” The Christian murdering Paul confessed: 1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” Be still, be at peace, be quiet: “Receiving Your Daily Bread With Thanksgiving!”
      Jesus teaches you to pray tender words of invitation: “Our Father, who art in heaven.” We confess: “With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.” Jesus breathes out His tender inviting gospel words so that the Holy Spirit might create and keep us trusting God as our loving Father. (Vs.1) A life of thanksgiving is a life of prayer. Prayer for our God and Father has brought us rebellious sinners back into the family. It cost Him the very life of His only begotten Son. Jesus willingly left His heavenly throne to become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh in the womb of the Virgin. He came as the second Adam, to undo what our first father had done, to rescue and win us back from all sins, from death, and from the power of Satan. His perfect life covers our sinful life. His suffering and sacrifice fully meets the holy demands of God’s justice. His rest in our tomb, sanctifies our graves to be only a pleasant bed until judgment day. His resurrection and ascension assure us that God is truly our Father and we truly His children.
      Begin each day remembering God has birthed you to be His own true children in the pure river of baptismal life. Marked with the sign of your redemption, confess the Truth - the Apostles’ Creed - God is your Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier - He has done all to save both your body and soul - not only here in time, but promises you life in the world to come in this body.
      Pray - talk with God as a dear child talks with his dear Father. A child doesn’t doubt its father’s love, so it petitions, begs, asks for others, and gives thanks to be blessed. Live in peace and quietness by prayer. If you are troubled - take it to the Lord in prayer ask Him for what you need trusting His good and gracious will. If others are troubled - intercede - pray for them. Pray for all men. Yes, your brothers and sisters in Christ, but also your enemies and those who hate you. Why? This is the heart of our Heavenly Father. Mat 5:44-48 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (47) And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (48) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
      Learn from Jesus, God’s beloved Son, who spent many a night in prayer - conversing with His God and Father. He threw all His cares on His heavenly Father. Jesus invites to pray, “Mat 7:7-8 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Jesus even places His words upon your lips to teach you to pray.
      Learn from Jesus to give thanks to God the Father for all things by prayer. He thanked the Lord while He suffered poverty, hunger, thirst, and injustice. A life of thanksgiving is a life of constant prayer for all men.
      Adam’s rebellion moved the Lord God to protect us through the estate of government. The first two estates of the church and home existed in Eden before the fall into sin. Government is instituted by God to punish evil doers and reward those who obey the civil law. Lawful order allows the Christian to live a quiet and peaceable life in this fallen world. God the Holy Spirit teaches us, (vs.1-2). We are to pray for our government, and all in authority. We pray in the general prayer: “Grant also health and prosperity to all that are in authority, especially to the President and Congress of the United States, the Governor and Legislature of this state, and to all our Judges and Magistrates, and endue them with grace to rule after Thy good pleasure, to the maintenance of righteousness and to the hindrance and punishment of wickedness, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Our prayers are not for a political party, but for God’s institution of government. Civil government is under the rule of Christ Jesus who keeps order and justice in this world that the Gospel might be proclaimed. The Roman government had judged Christianity to be an illicit religion and would openly persecute it - Paul still calls us to pray for government and all authority. It was the prayers of the Church that would change Emperor Constantine’s heart. It was the prayers of the church that toppled communism in the Soviet Union, and preserved our nation to this day. Satan hates prayer to God the Father through Christ Jesus inspired by the Holy Spirit. Don’t fall prey to his lie that all hope is lost, that government needs to be rebelled against. Instead, bend your knees in daily prayers for your government - this is a life of true thanksgiving. Dr. Luther teaches us, “For this we must know, that all our shelter and protection rest in prayer alone. For we are far too feeble to cope with the devil and all his power and adherents that set themselves against us, and they might easily crush us under their feet. Therefore we must consider and take up those weapons with which 31 Christians must be armed in order to stand against the devil. For what do you think has hitherto accomplished such great things, has checked or quelled the counsels, purposes, murder, and riot of our enemies, whereby the devil thought to crush us, together with the Gospel, except that the prayer of a few godly men intervened like a wall of iron on our side? They should else have witnessed a far different tragedy, namely, how the devil would have destroyed all Germany in its own blood. But now they may confidently deride it and make a mock of it; however, we shall nevertheless be a match both for themselves and the devil by prayer alone, if we only persevere diligently and not become slack. 32 For whenever a godly Christian prays: Dear Father, let Thy will be done, God speaks from on high and says: Yes, dear child, it shall be so, in spite of the devil and all the world.” (Large Catechism, Lord’s Prayer Intro.)
    Receiving your daily bread with thanksgiving is a life of peace and quietness. “God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.” What is meant by daily bread? “Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink,”(S.C. 4th Pet., L.P.) What is the true food and drink that supports us body and soul? (Vs.3-4). It is Christ Jesus - our God and Savior. He comes to save all men. How by bringing us the knowledge of the Truth. 1Ti 2:5-6 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” God the Father has saved sinners like us through the flesh and blood of His only begotten Son Jesus. He sends forth His Holy Spirit through the Gospel that we might know the truth by continuing in Jesus’ Word. It is the truth that sets us free from the noise and cacophony of a fallen world crying in fear of death and warring over power. We are free. Forgiven. Redeemed. Reconciled. Restored as a beloved child of our loving heavenly Father.
    Now He invites us to the great thanksgiving feast - His flesh and blood given and shed to bring us peace and quietness as we commune with our God. Amen.

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