Sermon Outline - Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving for Friends
This sermon outline and prayer, for use on or near Thanksgiving, can be used as a stand-alone Friendship Sunday worship or as the culmination of a series of worship services leading up to Friendship Sunday. To be effective, every Friendship Sunday worship celebration should involve preparationand followup. See “Welcoming Guests Well” and “Developing an Intentional Follow-up Strategy.”
Target: Members are encouraged to invite a friend to church during the Thanksgiving weekend and follow up by inviting them to either Thanksgiving dinner or a “left over” party following Thanksgiving. The focus is on gratitude for our friends.
Text: Romans 16:3, 4 (NKJV)
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Theme Development: As noted above, the focus of this Friendship Celebration is on thanksgiving for friends. The goal is to celebrate our special friendship with those around us as we give thanks to God for His grace in our lives. The text focuses on Paul’s friendship with Priscilla and Aquila who befriended Paul in Rome, risked their lives for him and encouraged him in his ministry.
Guests should hear in this brief message that:
- Their friends invited them because they are special people in their friends’ lives just as Priscilla and Aquila were special people in Paul’s life.
- Their friends are thankful for their friendship. Note Paul’s thanksgiving to Priscilla and Aquila. The New King James Version is preferred in this text because the thanksgiving is clearer.
- Their friends have a great friend in Jesus who did more than risk His life (verse 4). He gave it for the sake of their friendship (John 10:18; 15:13).
- Jesus gave His life for them, too (John 3:16).
- Their friend would have them know the friendship of Jesus as well and be counted as fellow workers in Christ Jesus (verse 3).
- Such friendship is truly worthy of thanksgiving to God.
Prayer of the Day:
Our loving and gracious Father in heaven, we thank You that You have brought us into friendship with You through Your Son Jesus. We are grateful for the friendships we have here on earth. We especially thank You for our friendship with those who have joined us in worship today. We pray that You would guard our friendships and allow them to grow. We pray for our friends who do not know Your friendship and ask You to work in their lives through our friendship that we may be witnesses of the hope we have in Jesus Your Son. It is in His holy name that we pray. Amen.