- Notes for Joel 2:21-27
- Notes for Matthew 6:25-33
- Putting the Sermon Together
- Online Resources
- Online texts are available at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
- The coming Day of the Lord, described in Joel 2:1, is the key to understanding this passage. At the fearful appearance of the Lord, the people were moved to fasting and repentance. Then, beginning at verse 19, the Lord showed them mercy and spoke the comforting words of verses 21-27.
- The Jews frequently spoke of redemption for the entire created order. Notice in verses 21-23 that the soil (NRSV) and the animals are addressed before the children of Zion. Compare the coming redemption of the animals to their groaning in Joel 1:18 and 20.
- The former rains were the rains that normally fell between October and December. The latter rains fell in March and April. Rain in its appropriate season was seen as a sign of God's favor (Leviticus 26:4, Deuteronomy 11:14).
- After addressing the soil, the animals, and the people, the prophet -- speaking for God -- described the future time of redemption:
- The threshing floors will be full of grain (verse 24)
- The vats will overflow with wine and oil (verse 24)
- All will have plenty to eat and be satisfied (verse 26)
- They will praise the name of the Lord (verse 26)
- They will recognize the presence of God in their midst (verse 27)
- They will never again be put to shame (verses 26, 27)
- Verse 25: God acknowledged the suffering they had been through. See Joel 1:4 for the first mention of the locusts, grasshoppers, and other insects that plagued Israel.
- Visit www.textweek.com for a wealth of additional online resources. These are offered free of charge.
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- Matthew 6:25-33 is generally considered part of the Sermon on the Mount. This section resembles the wisdom teaching of the Proverbs. Rhetorical questions are askedasked to help the hearer realize that neither anxiety nor worry have the ability to solve any of life's problems.
- Jesus did not encourage his audience to become carefree and irresponsible. He was, instead, exhorting them to set priorities for themselves:
- Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing (verse 25)?
- Is God aware of your needs?
- Can you trust God to care for you?
- If so, then strive first for the kingdom of God and God's righteousness (verse 33).
- Visit www.textweek.com for a wealth of additional online resources for this text. These are offered free of charge.
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Thanksgiving Day is a time for both acknowledgement and hope. Surviving the year was once regarded a major miracle. This year, we give thanks for those who survived the recent cataclysm of Hurricane Sandy, and many hurricane survivors will give thanks for being alive – even if they lost all their earthly possessions. Help your congregation move from giving thanks for things to giving thanks for life and for significant people in their lives. Thanksgiving Day is a time to publicly affirm and acknowledge that had it not been for the mercies of the Lord we would all have been consumed by the challenges of this past year (see Lamentations 3:22, Bible in Basic English or King James Version).
On Thanksgiving Day, we also dare to express hope. We live with the hope that those we love will be on the pews with us again next year. We timidly embrace hope that we will have what we really need when we need it (Matthew 6:25-33). We live with the hope that the world will become a better place to live for our children and grandchildren. We live with hope and with expectation of better times when the Day of the Lord finally does come to set all of creation aright (Joel 2:21-27). For what will you give thanks this year?
When you prepare for Thanksgiving celebrations and the Thanksgiving worship service, is the focus of your congregation upon the abundance or the sharing? Unfortunately, for some, the prevailing "tradition" is to gather and cook mounds of food (more than any reasonable family and its guests could or should ever eat), while bowing our heads in pseudo piety to thank God for being fortunate enough to have such abundance. If we are not careful, Thanksgiving can (or has) become just another reason to overindulge, to flaunt excess, and to exacerbate the lies of division between the haves and the have nots. The story that is told about the first Thanksgiving in the Northeast is not so much about how much food was shared as it is about who shared food and good will.
What if the focus in the homes of our parishes shifted from how much was on the table to the tenderness of native populations helping the settler-stranger survive the harshness of the New England winters with the indigenous foods that had sustained them for centuries? Or what if our traditional observances moved beyond a few baskets of Thanksgiving-style food stuffs to helping our neighbors make it through the harshness of winter?
"Virtual Thanksgiving Field Trip" from the Plimouth Plantation (multimedia presentations)
The First Thanksgiving from Scholastic.com
Thanksgiving Is Some Native Americans' Day of Mourning (CNN article)
What really happened at the first Thanksgiving? Well, it depends on whom you ask. Indigenous people of the Americas have varying opinions about the meaning of the holiday.
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BOW- The United Methodist Book of Worship
CLUW- Come, Let Us Worship (Korean)
MVPC- Mil Voces Para Celebrar (Spanish)
SOZ- Songs of Zion
TFWS- The Faith We Sing
UMH- The United Methodist Hymnal
URW- Upper Room Worshipbook
WSM - Worship & Song, Music Edition
WSW - Worship & Song, Worship Resources Edition
|All Creatures of Our God and King
|Come, All of You||350|
|Come, Ye Thankful People, Come||694||241|
|Depth of Mercy! Can There Be||355||273|
|Depth of Mercy! Can There Be||3097|
|Now Thank We All Our God||102|
|Open Our Eyes||2086|
|There's a Wideness in God's Mercy||121|
|We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing||131||361|
|We, Thy People, Praise Thee||67||72|
|Psalm 126 (UMH 847)|
|Bless His Holy Name||2015|
|Come, Ye Disconsolate, Where'er Ye Languish||510|
|Give to the Winds Thy Fears||129||282|
|God Has Done Great Things for Us (Psalm 126)||326|
|Hail to the Lord's Anointed||203||81|
|Joy Comes with the Dawn||2210|
|Let's Sing Unto the Lord (Cantemos al Señor)||149||49||67|
|O God, Our Help in Ages Past
|O Spirit of the Living God||539|
|Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart (Marion)||160||130|
|Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart (Vineyard Haven)||161|
|Shout to the Lord||2074|
|The Trees of the Field||2279|
|When God First Brought Us Back from Exile (Psalm 126)||325|
|When God Restored Our Common Life||2182|
|Wondrous God (Psalm 126)||327|
|1 Timothy 2:1-7|
|Christ Is the World's Light||188|
|Come and Find the Quiet Center||2128|
|Dona Nobis Pacem||376||360||142||443|
|God of Many Names||105|
|Jesus, Name above All Names||2071|
|Let There Be Light||440|
|Make Me a Channel of Your Peace||2171|
|This Is My Song||437|
|We Believe in One True God||85|
|All My Hope Is Firmly Grounded||132|
|All Things Bright and Beautiful||147||63|
|Be Still, My Soul||534||307|
|Bring Forth the Kingdom||2190|
|Children of the Heavenly Father||141||335|
|For the Fruits of This Creation||97||193|
|Give to the Winds Thy Fears||129||282|
|Give Your Cares to God (Kleinheksel)
|God Be with You till We Meet Again (God Be With You)||672||347||37|
|God Be with You till We Meet Again (Randolph)||673|
|God Is Good, All the Time||3026|
|God Is So Good||2056||231|
|God Will Take Care of You (Nunca desmayes)||130||260|
|Great Is Thy Faithfulness||140||30||81|
|His Eye Is on the Sparrow||2146||33|
|How Lovely, Lord, How Lovely||2042|
|I Will Trust in the Lord||464||292||14|
|If the World from You Withhold||522|
|If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee||142|
|Leave It There||522||23|
|Praise Our God Above||2061|
|Rise to Greet the Sun||678||371|
|Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God||405||201||136|
|Someone Asked the Question||2144|
|View the present through the promise||3048|
|Wait for the Lord||3049|
|Worriers of the world, unite!||58|
|You Satisfy the Hungry Heart||629|