Thanksgiving 2022 (2 Cor 9, 6–15; Lk 12, 13–21; Dt 26

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᛭ INI ᛭

Where’d you get your seed? Think about that for a second. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about your field or your garden. Where’d you get it? Pioneer? Ohlde? Maybe the school auction! Walmart, Orscheln, maybe Andy’s in Hanover? (2 Cor 9)

Pause

How’d you get your land or what’s on it? Ponder that for a moment. Has it been in your family? Did you buy it? What about your house? Who’d you buy it from? Who used to live there? What about your out buildings, if you have them? Who built them? Who’s paid for them? (Lk 12)

Pause

Last one. Where’d you pick up your food? Consider that. How’d all those things you’ve cooked or will cook for your Thanksgiving feast end up in your cupboard? Did you buy it at Walmart? Kiers? Crome’s? Somewhere else? (Dt 26; Lk 12; 2 Cor 9)

Pause

Now, let’s take a look at these questions again. Where’d you get your seed? How’d you get your land or what’s on it? Where’d you get your food? Now, I’m going to fathom a guess. Don’t worry. I won’t ask for a show of hands or anything. I’m going to guess that for most of you, “God” wasn’t the first answer.

Now, I get it. I think like this, too. And it’s true: sometimes people just want to know where you bought something. That’s entirely possible. But here’s the thing. Not going to “God” as the Giver of all that we have is a byproduct of living in the wealthiest country in the history of the world.

It’s hard for our human nature to admit that we are not independent. We’re all dependents! Dependents on the Father’s good graces in His Son, Christ Jesus. Only because of Him does the Father “make His sun shine on the evil and and on the good” and “send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” “He gives daily bread even to all evil people.” Apart from the Holy Spirit we can’t and won’t confess that God the Father of Jesus is the giver of everything we are and have. God really did give you the can of pumpkin you needed for your pie!

Not going to God first as the Giver of all we are and have also comes from our modern, overly scientific and industrial view of the universe. Here’s what I mean by that. We view the created world as a system, a machine, and sure God is the designer, “the builder of all things.” (Heb 3) But He’s separate from His creation, off somewhere in heaven distantly ruling over the universe as a stand-alone thing. Maybe, He’s the power running the machine, making sure the universe keeps operating. But that’s about it.

Because of this we so often talk in godless terms about everything from the life in general to farming specifically. Our default is to forget God’s in charge of rain and weather, plants and crops. There’s no need to “knock on wood.” That doesn’t work. God’s in charge. There’s no such thing as “mother nature.”

But listen to what Paul says: “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread to the eater, will supply and multiply your seed and increase the fruit of your righteousness.” God the Father, because of the mercy in Christ Jesus, “supplies seed to the sower and bread to the eater.” God tells us in the Bible that He is intimately involved in His creation for the benefit of the creatures that He created:

“In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17) St. Paul preaches in Athensk. “In [Jesus] all things hold together.” (Col 1) “All things exist for [Him] and by [Him].” (Heb 1) “For from [the Triune God] and through Him and to Him are all things.” (Rom 11)

So what does this look like when Paul says, “He supplies seed to the sower and bread to the eater”? Well, God supplying seed to the sower looks like this: “The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.” (Mk 4) We think it’s just pollination, sprouting, tasseling, drying, harvesting. No, that’s just all the various stages of when we see God “supplying seed to the sower.”

So also bread to the eater! Isn’t it just yeast? A bag of flour from Walmart? A mixer? An oven? No! It’s God doing those things, from the seed in the ground to the mill, from the bagging plant to the semi drive, from the cashier to your cabinet. God is supplying bread to the eater.

God isn’t in the gaps. We just observe God—hidden. So hidden that we call it Ag science or baking or shopping. But everything you have, no matter what you have—it’s all gift! No matter your age either! Toys. Pets. School supplies. Feed lot. Cattle. Corn. House. Home. Family. Body. Soul. All gift from the Father on account of His mercy and favor in Christ Jesus.

And with that mercy and favor comes not only gifts of Creation but also salvation! What about your righteousness? Yeah, that, too! “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread to the eater, will supply and multiply your seed and increase the fruit of your righteousness.”

Christ Jesus won your salvation. Paid for your sins. Today we’re thankful for our sins of forgetfulness, of not always seeing God as the Giver of our possessions. That sin is all paid for by the precious blood of Jesus. But the Lord doesn’t just supply Christ’s righteousness once for all at Calvary. He continually pours it out, too! He multiplies it all the more—uniting Creation with His Word—so that you’re baptized, you hear sermons, and receive the Son’s body and blood through bread and wine!

In those ways God isn’t hidden but most revealed! We hear it in His Word and trust it by faith. For “by the Word of the Lord the heavens were made.” So also water with the Word is a baptism—a “life-giving water rich in grace and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit.” Bread and wine with His Words are His “body and blood for you for the forgiveness of your sins.” He makes and continually makes you righteous.

So righteous that you no longer think your land and crops are yours, like the man in Jesus’ parable did. They’re God’s free gift to you. Given so that you might be a “cheerful giver.” No worries about how the system will work in your favor. God’s doing the whole thing—beginning to end. Where’d you get your seed? How’d you get your land or what’s on it? Where’d you get your food? God the Father on account of His mercy in Christ Jesus. And the Spirit enlightens us by faith to “realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.”

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread to the eater, will supply and multiply your seed and increase the fruit of your righteousness.”

On account of Christ’s death and resurrection, God is working all things for your good. Whether it’s seed to the sower or bread to the eater. Whether it’s your righteousness, your being forgiven, your holiness or your eternal life and resurrection. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8) He does and will.

᛭ INI ᛭

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