Sunday Morning Worship Service November 12, 2023 – Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
November 12, 2023

Sunday Morning Worship Service November 12, 2023 – Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Passage: Joshua 24:1-3, Joshua 24:14-25, Psalm 78:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13

Worship Series
Our Hymn of Grateful Praise

Sermon Title
Enter the Gates

Sermon Message

Three weeks before the end of the liturgical year, and we turn to gratitude as the guiding theme for worship. What does a life of gratitude look like? Or perhaps more importantly, what does it feel like? When we invite others to join us as we are being made into disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, we are looking to live a life of service and joy. We are being invited to consider our common humanity, our shared experience of living in a world that has heartache and struggle, but also profound joy and satisfaction that is deep and true and binding of heart to heart. And it all grows out of an awareness of the interconnectedness of life, which opens us up to living in gratitude. That’s what we celebrate this week as we worship.

Our gratitude begins with God, of course. So, sing our songs of praise and thanksgiving – enter the gates with thanksgiving. Let our worship begin and end in our acknowledgment of the God who provides and who is present always. But let us also give thanks for the church, the family with whom we worship; let us be bound together in singing and praying and mutual love and support.

Whom should the worship team identify to thank during worship for these three weeks? What workers have been ignored or forgotten? Whom does no one know about and yet worship wouldn’t happen without them? Or mission and ministry wouldn’t happen without them? Who looks after the children? Who cleans the building? We want to express our gratitude in real ways to real people. Let’s make a list.

But like everything we do in the church, we cannot be only inward looking. Whom can we identify in our community that we need to thank in a public way? What servants, what workers, and what segment of your population can you point out for giving thanks. True, we are almost two weeks from Thanksgiving, but our hope is that we could expand that observance and begin this week by reflecting on how we live thankfully every day of our lives.