Bring faith and belief into your lives
Given on a Chicago street corner in 1934 by Charles Albin:
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, urging us to call family and friends to our table. Jeremiah had this task of speaking to a nation of longtime-sinners. They would rather do harmful things to others than to do good for anyone.
Looking back at Israel’s history there were many reasons to be thankful. They were the only God-people on earth. Jerusalem was God’s city in this world. They were God-protected and God-blessed and resided in a God-created community.
Jeremiah was told to stand on the corner of Temple Street, calling His people to service. If they could experience the goodness that comes from helping others, God would be thankful and bless them as they represented Him. Another task Jeremiah had was to tell the priests to stop preaching on the steps of the temple, calling people to “Hear the words from God” when their words were nothing more than human lies and myths.
Looking around us today, what does Chicago have to be thankful for? You have a lake for fishing and sailing, a community that supports athletic events, a street corner near Michigan Avenue and churches that call you to be a part of God’s community. Just as Jeremiah stood on his street to offer up thanks to God, I have the church-appointed task of helping us see the blessings God so willingly offers. In many ways nothing has changed in 2,500 years since Jeremiah. We have the same needs, fears and wants as the ancient folks. Those people didn’t know it but they should be thankful he was telling them how they could be eternally restored, as God’s people. It is not easy standing in the way of others to get their attention.
I have been in your community for several months now, even taking a job to pay for my tuition and upkeep. Some of you may know me as your ice-man. I may have lugged 50-pound chunks upstairs to your ice-boxes. Just as Jeremiah was known to his people, I want to be known by you folks. God wants you to know who He is and what he expects from us. Faith and belief are the qualities He hopes to see in our lives. I pray for your experiences in life and that you find God.