Thanksgiving Eve, 2016
Deuteronomy 8:1-10
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Do any of you observe that Thanksgiving tradition where you go around the room and say one thing for which you’re thankful?

I think that’s a good tradition?

But there’s always that one child who’ll say, “I’m thankful for pumpkin pie” and the mom of that child will give one of those “Are you kidding me?” looks that encourages said child to quickly append, “…and my family” to his list of things for which he’s thankful.

The older I get, the more I realize how much I have to be thankful for. For Gloria and me both, simply being here is an amazing gift of God, for which we are indeed thankful.

But the older I get, the more I realize how ungrateful I was as a child. How much I had and didn’t even realize.

So, tonight, Thanksgiving Eve, what I’d like to remind myself of, and what I’d like to remind you of, is exactly what Moses needed to remind Israel of all those years ago.

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The Last Sunday of the Church Year, Sermon 2016
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt
Matthew 25:1-13

I am occasionally guilty of cushioning the warning that Jesus gives in today’s Gospel lesson. So, that being the case, let me say this:

This Sunday is the Last Sunday of the Church year, a day where we focus on the return of Christ in glory and His command for us to be ready since that return could happen at any moment.

There’s no time to waste.

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All Saints’ Day (observed), 2016
Matthew 5:1-12
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Is it always hopeful and comforting to wonder what the future holds? I don’t think so.

Right now, fans of the Cleveland Indians, and the St. Louis Cardinals for that matter, are probably saying to themselves, “Maybe next year.”

And they’re right, maybe next year, if there are no major injuries to overcome, no ill-timed slumps. But does that kind of hopefulness comfort and strengthen you? I don’t think so.

“Fan” being short for “Fanatic,” the end of a season can be a time of mourning. And the comfort available looks either backwards, saying, “We had a good season” or forwards, saying, “Maybe next year.”

And both of those are terrible ways to comfort someone who’s mourning.

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