Text: Deuteronomy 8:1-10
Theme: “What a Thanksgiving treat”
A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. The Old Testament lesson serves as our sermon text for this evening.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
E. LSB 823:1 May God Bestow on Us His Grace
May God bestow on us His grace,
With blessings rich provide us;
And may the brightness of His face
To life eternal guide us,
That we His saving health may know,
His gracious will and pleasure,
And also to the nations show
Christ’s riches without measure
And unto God convert them. Amen.
A. Gabriel Ruth, a Globally Engaged in Outreach (GEO) missionary for the
LCMS, wanted to show her Czech students something typical of an American
celebration of Thanksgiving.
B. She couldn’t provide turkey for a hundred, so she made the
1. green bean casserole.
2. Cream of mushroom soup.
3. Crispy fried onions.
C. Mmmmm! Surprisingly, she was able to find all the ingredients in Prague.
2. Transported two hours on the train.
4. Happy American Thanksgiving!
D. Her students’ reaction? “Eww! Gross! What’s that?”
E. “Come on, try it!” she said.
1. Not many takers.
F. The only ingredient of the recipe most of Gabriel’s students would taste
were the crispy fried onions.
1. They picked them off the top, and they were a universal hit.
2. But the whole casserole, the main event?
3. They’ll never know what they missed.
G. Jesus presented ten lepers the greatest reason for thanksgiving.
1. And it wasn’t that they were healed of their leprosy.
2. That was just the crispy fried onions on top.
3. It was the fact that the Messiah, the Savior, was right there, offering
4. All ten loved the crispy fried onions, being healed of their dreaded
5. But only one tasted the whole casserole.
6. Only one realized how delicious was the treat he’d actually been given
H. We’re given so many reasons to give thanks, and the turkey and pumpkin
pie and green bean casserole we’ll enjoy tomorrow are among them.
1. So are health and friends and family we’ve enjoyed all year.
2. But every blessing we receive is only because Jesus, the Savior, has
made us God’s dear children again by dying for us, taking away the sin that
once separated us from all of God’s gifts.
3. For that, I say Happy Thanksgiving!
I. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 1 Chronicles 16:34 proclaims:
1. “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
2. Christians are urged to give thanks always to our Lord, who loves us.
3. Look at all that God has given to us! He has given people in our lives
who love us.
4. He has given us a country to live in, safety, good medicines, and all
kinds of daily bread.
5. Our Father gives us so much good that we should give thanks to God for
all that he has given us just this year alone.
J. At this point you might be saying:
1. Wait a minute. Pastor, did you just say we should give thanks for all
God gave us this year?
2. This year has been horrible!
3. The year 2022 is surely going to go down as one of the hardest, most
frustrating, and divisive years in U.S. history!
4. With the:
A. loss of loved ones due to death,
B. to inflation showing its ugly head every time we look to buy something,
C. to people losing the ability to be decent and civil toward one another:
1. How Can Anyone Be Thankful This Year?!?
I. We can be thankful that this year God taught us we do not live by bread
alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
A. Dear fellow redeemed of the Lord, remember what our text for our
1. “You shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you
these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you
to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or
not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which
you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know
that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that
comes from the mouth of the Lord” (verses 2–3).
2. Think how the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for decades.
3. Do you think they were thankful?
4. Many were not.
5. Many grumbled against God and Moses.
6. God gave:
A. daily bread miraculously,
B. from manna to water pouring from a rock to quail,
C. so the people could eat something else.
7. Other times, God angrily took lives, like when Korah, Dathan, and Abiram
led a rebellion against Moses (Numbers 16),
8. or when God sent snakes to bite people and many of them died (Numbers
9. So compare what the Israelites went through compared to what we have
gone through in 2022.
10. We’ve only had one bad year.
11. The Israelites had forty.
B. God sent the Israelites to the wilderness out of love to humble their
1. God’s ways are not our ways.
2. He knew the Israelites could not yet properly receive his gifts—not the
Promised Land and especially not eternal life through faith in the coming
3. He knew the people trusted in their own wisdom and abilities.
4. By humbling them, he meant to show them their utter hopelessness apart
5. By humbling them, God might show his beloved people that they needed his
6. This is why God says he humbled his people:
A. that “he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but
man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (verse 3).
C. Whatever else 2022 has brought us, we can still say that God’s fatherly,
divine goodness and mercy are infinite and boundless.
1. God’s wisdom is greater than ours.
2. His understanding is unsearchable.
3. In this year that few people have liked for one reason or another, God’s
Word that proclaims Jesus, our Savior, has still been preached.
4. In this awful year, our heavenly Father has not taken his Word away from
5. While other comforts were taken away, God’s Word still comforted us as
only God’s Word can.
6. This Word proclaims you righteous, right with God on account of Jesus,
even if reason disagrees and senses don’t detect it.
7. Like the Israelites, so you and I also can learn by that during this
humbling time, we do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes
from the Lord’s mouth.
II. And we can be thankful—this year as every year—for all the blessings
that the Word of God promises are ahead for us in Christ.
A. God’s Word is a Word of both Law and Gospel.
1. It first shows us the perfect way to live; and because we have not lived
this way, it also shows us Jesus, who did.
2. God in his Word desires that we would:
A. “keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and
by fearing him” (verse 6). Yet God’s Word also proclaims Jesus, whose
footsteps never strayed and who for our sake laid his perfect life down at
B. God’s Word promised the Israelites a good land overflowing with
1. That promise sustained the faithful as they trekked through the
2. With little pleasant in their day-to-day life, with frustrations as they
moved from place to place, the promise of God’s gift of an overabundant
land encouraged the faithful.
3. Certain of God’s promise, they forgot the past and pressed forward to
the great goal God was giving them.
C. The same thing is true for us too.
1. In this year:
A. when conveniences have been taken,
B. when fears have abounded,
C. when family customs had to be changed,
D. when worries for our older friends and relatives consumed us,
E. when we are frustrated at the political battles in our country (which I
think every side would admit to)—we have a sure Word of comfort.
F. That Word is the salvation promised in Jesus, who delivers us from this
valley of sorrows to himself in heaven, based solely upon his love for us.
G. So we believers can forget what lies behind and set our face joyfully to
the blessings that lie ahead.
D. By God’s Word, believers learn how to be content in all things—in normal
years and even in times when things are anything but normal.
1. By God’s Word, believers learn to trust him daily in all challenges, and
we see how richly those who also trusted him in Scripture were blessed by
2. By God’s Word, believers are:
A. comforted in affliction,
B. helped in distress,
C. fed when spiritually hungry,
D. strengthened when weak,
E. loved when loveless,
F. set at peace when terrified,
G. and forgiven for Christ’s sake when guilty.
3. For that Word of our Savior and God’s undying mercy for us poor sinners
sustains us through even the hardest of years.
E. This year, I’ve seen people challenge others to come up with good things
God gave them in 2022.
1. It’s good to do, to stop and count our blessings.
2. What good things has God done for you this year?
3. What blessings did God bring you?
4. I think you could find quite a lot that God gave you this year that you
can be thankful for.
5. Even the hard things you’ve seen this year may be blessings in disguise,
blessings that will open up sometime in the future in ways that we just
don’t see now.
6. But we do see what God’s Word says.
7. And we see how God is good and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in
F. There is much to give thanks for.
1. Greatest of all is that 2022 has shown us that this world isn’t that
desirable of a place. The year 2022 has taught us to set our eyes on that
which lies ahead and to forget what lies behind. For this world is not the
home of believers.
A. Our true home is in heaven, in the new creation and the resurrection of
B. Jesus has come to save us from this valley of sorrows, and he has done
everything we need.
C. He has gone to prepare a place for us in the new promised land of heaven.
D. He has secured that place for us by his blood, and he communicates this
to us by his Word and Sacraments.
E. For this, and for all God’s gifts, we give thanks. Amen.
F. Let us pray:
G. LSB 823:2 May God Bestow on Us His Grace
Thine over all shall be the praise
And thanks of ev’ry nation;
And all the world with joy shall raise
The voice of exultation.
For Thou shalt judge the earth, O Lord,
Nor suffer sin to flourish;
Thy people’s pasture is Thy Word
Their souls to feed and nourish,
In righteous paths to keep them. Amen.
Text: Public domain
H. The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in the true faith in Christ until life everlasting. Amen.
I. In the Name of the Father…Amen.