I thought I'd share a few of the Thanksgiving related illustrations I've used in sermons and other talks. I'm not promising much of theological or spiritual worth, but a little humor and some words for thought food - nutritional value questionable. It may end up being more than one blog post - whether that's good or bad will be up to you to decide.
(This one's really old, but then many of them may well be.)
A food editor of a large newspaper received a phone call one day from a lady who wanted to know: "How long should I roast a 22 pound turkey?"
The food editor said, "Just a minute," and turned to look at a chart on the wall to be sure of the information she was going to share.
The woman on the other end of the line said, "Thank you," and hung up. Yummmmmmmm!!
A four-year-old little girl was asked how she liked her thanksgiving dinner. She responded: "Well, I didn't like the turkey much, but I sure liked the bread it ate."
A customer at a local restaurant was asked by the waiter: "How did you find your turkey, sir?"
The diner replied: "By sheer accident. I happened to move a slice of pickle and there it was."
When Rudyard Kipling was one of the more popular writers of his time, it was reported that he received 10 shillings for every word he wrote. Some students at Oxford University were less impressed with his success than they should have been and sent Kipling 10 shillings with a request that he send them, "one of your best words."
He cabled back: "Thanks!"
When a little boy returned from a birthday party, his mother asked him, "Bobby, did you thank the mother of your friend for the party?"
The little boy's response was: "Well, I was going to, but a girl ahead of me said, 'Thank you,' and the lady told her not to mention it, so I didn't."
Winston Churchill loved to tell the story of the little boy who fell off a pier into deep water. An older sailor, heedless of the great danger to himself, dove into the stormy water, struggled with the boy, and finally, exhausted, brought to safety.
Two days later the boy's mother came with him to the same pier seeking the sailor who rescued her son. Finding him, she asked: "You dove into the ocean to bring my boy out?"
The old sailor said, "I did."
The mother then quickly demanded: "Then where's his hat?"
The late W. L. Stidger told about a teacher he had while in school. She had gone out of her way to interest him in the poet Tennyson. It was his habit to write letters at Thanksgiving to persons who had influenced him. One year he decided to write this former teacher. The letter was forwarded from town to town until it finally reached her. Dr. Stidger received the following reply:
"My dear Willie: I am an old lady in my eighties. I am ill and I cannot leave my room. Your letter came like a ray of bright sun, illuminating my dark day and my even darker life. You will be interested to know that, after fifty years of teaching, yours was the first letter of thanks I ever received from a former student. You lifted the clouds for me."
The weather people had predicted heavy rains for many days. After a few days it began to flood. Rescue teams were sent out to tell people to evacuate their homes. One gentleman, noted for his piety, refused to go with the rescue team that came to take him by car to higher ground. "The Lord will take care of me," he said with conviction.
Soon the water began covering his front yard. This time the would-be rescuers came in a motor boat. "The Lord will take care of me," he announced.
A day later the house was filled with water and the man was stranded on his roof. Again a rescue team came - this time in a helicopter. "The Lord will rescue me," he said declining their help.
Soon the water was up over the man's waist even on top of the house. He was getting worried. "Lord," he prayed with great earnestness, "when are you going to rescue me?"
The Lord replied, "What do you mean when am I going to rescue you? I've already tried three times."
In Vermont a farmer was sitting on the porch with his wife. He was beginning to realize how much she meant to him. It was about time! They had lived together forty-two years and she had helped to everything, willingly.
One day as they sat there together on the porch, he said, "Wife, you've been such a wonderful woman that there are times I can hardly keep from telling you."
A farmer was invited to dine with a city friend. Before partaking of the meal, the farmer bowed his head and silently thanked God for the food.
His host said: "You are old-fashioned, I see. I never pray before meals."
The farmer said: "I always give thanks to God before I eat the good things God has so graciously provided. There are some creatures on my farm, however, who never pray for their meals."
"Ah," said the host, "they are with it, up-to-date and enlightened. Who are they?"
The farmer replied, "My pigs!"
An innocent-looking old lady cashed her check at the supermarket. She thanked the cashier, saying: "I just didn't know what I was going to do since the bank stopped cashing my checks."
Four high school boys decided to skip classes one bright, warm spring morning. (Ah, please come back soon bright, warm spring mornings!) Probably a few of us remember those kind of days when we were in high school. We probably also remember the feelings we had when we decided to finally head to school.
As this story goes, the boys returned after lunch and explained to their teacher that their car had had a flat tire on the way to school. They were extremely grateful when their teacher seemingly smiled understandingly.
The teacher rather pleasantly said: "You boys missed a test this morning. Please take your seats apart from one another and get out a piece of paper and a pencil."
After the boys had done as she instructed, she continued with: "This is a make-up test. I'm only going to ask you one question. If all your answers are the same, you will all get an A. If not, you will all get an F. Ready? Which tire was flat?"
O, heavenly Creator,
We thank You for the food
And remember the hungry;
We thank You for health
and remember the sick;
We thank You for friends
and remember the friendless;
We thank You for freedom
and remember the enslaved
May these remembrances stir us to serve
that your gifts to us may be used for others.