This Very Land

November 21, 2018 Series: Lectionary

Topic: Biblical Verse: Deuteronomy 8:1–8:10

Thanksgiving Eve

November 21, 2018

Deuteronomy 8:1-10

“This Very Land”

Vicar Fabricio Velasquez

January 1988, the journey began to the new world, for a family that wanted a better future together. For a particular member of this family, it meant leaving the people he had known as mom and dad behind. This meant leaving everything behind. After all, what could a seven-year-old boy own? Coming from a war-torn country. Having survived seven years of war, having to at times sleep on the floor with grandma up against the wall just in case a bullet were to come through the wall it would not get to her grandson first. Leaving for a land far from mom and dad, literally crying his heart out and falling asleep the DMV became his new home. January being the new day of the future of his life. After landing at National Airport, the first thing that he noticed is all the white stuff on the ground. He rushes to grab it and quickly lets go, realizing that it was very cold, to his surprise.  “What is this? Where does this comes from? What in the world?”, he says all excited. This story has more to tell and can continue for all night long, but we are not here to hear my story.

Sometimes in our day to day we just see this land as just another place that we call country. This is where some of us were born, have gone to school, have our careers, and it will be our last stop for many. God has brought us here regardless how your journey started, whether overseas or if you were born here. God has always prepared the way and has led you to the land that has blessed you with certain liberties and freedoms. This is where I want to focus on. As a nation and Christ followers we are surely blessed to call this land home.

We give thanks in this season in which we celebrate the fact that we can come together as believers in Jesus with no problems, delays, restrictions, or interruptions.  Some may have not endured the struggles of war or the times of uncertainty. But because God has had mercy on us through his Son Jesus Christ, our steps are in order. I give thanks to God because of his Son Jesus that we are here together as one family. Some us shorter or taller, on the light side or the heavy side. Nonetheless, we are here as family, the family of believers, together for one purpose: to glorify the Son. This privilege that we have, for this I am thankful. In a time when there are forces that want to divide us and possibly have animosity towards each other, the Lord has kept us secure under His shadow. This very land, for some, has not produced the amount of honey that was expected, but it has produced. At times we may not accomplish all that we planned, but at least we have tried. This very land, though at times it seems that everything is up in the air, we still eat and drink. In doing so, we get to bless the Lord for all He has done. Before I close, if I can only finish with this thought: we enjoy all the celebrations of the season. In the middle of our celebration, let us not forget to pray for those who can not have our luxuries of having beautiful buildings where we worship, a five-course meal, family over to indulge over what has been cooked, waiting for the next to celebrate and just enjoy the moment. While this very land is blessed with so much, at times we get so comfortable and forget to bless to the Lord. Our brothers and sisters who are in areas that are marginalized by dictators, monarchs, and dictatorships, still manage to give thanks to God for all He has done for them. In the middle of all the turmoil, they still manage to confess Jesus Christ as their Savior. This is the persecuted Church, the one that has to go underground to worship. The persecuted Church, every time that they get together, leave their ego, wants, needs and comfort to preach the Gospel. In some places, these churches at times might have but one page of the Bible to enjoy in a month. The resources are limited, but God’s people manage to be happy with what they have, and are happy with the simple fact that they get to enjoy each other. No food, no programs, liturgy, no bulletins, no reminders, no books and no big buildings, just the Gospel in their hearts.

Let us give thanks for “this very land,” despite all the political divisions, God has led us to where we are. This very land, I am grateful for, not because of 50 stars and 13 strips, but because it pleased God that I am here and I get to serve Him with you. This very land is not perfect but in the middle of the imperfection God’s grace has been enough. This very land God has put us together for the glory of His Name. Amen.

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