November: Giving Thanks


I believe it was Joan Rivers who said that “the holidays are that special time of year where we leave those people we love to go and be with our families!” With Thanksgiving and Christmas upon us, we are now at the threshold of an activityladen and quite busy holiday season. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. In many ways, for me Thanksgiving represents what I wish Christmas, with all of its over-commercialization, would be. 

Thanksgiving is the time when family and friends gather, when we remember that for which we are grateful. In the church we have a word for this: Eucharist. Eucharist is simply a Greek word that means “to give thanks.” It is a word the church uses to describe the common meal we all share week in and week out, when we receive, and share together the bread and the wine.

I am grateful that in church on Sundays we pause to break bread together. The Eucharist is that meal where we gather to receive nourishment from God, but also to thank God for nourishing and healing our wounded souls. We gather as a family, around a table, to receive Christ’s body and blood. 

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I hope that we do so remembering that every Sunday in church is literally a day of Thanksgiving. What a wonderful way to live! For Christians, giving thanks is not something we do only once a year around a turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. 

As Christians, we gather around Christ’s table every week to thank God for the gift of our lives, the lives of those we love, and for daily challenges we encounter that remind us that we are truly reliant upon Christ alone. 

On Monday, November 24, all in our church family are invited to an ecumenical service of Thanksgiving that will be hosted by Zion Lutheran Church on 3606 Beauchamp at 7 pm. Portia, myself, and our choir will participate, and St. Andrew’s will be proud to host this service next year.

I hope that you will put this service on your calendar, and consider joining a group of Christians from many denominations who will gather that evening around a table to do what Christians for centuries have done: simply give thanks to God.

If you have any questions about the service, please talk either to Portia or myself, and we will do our best to answer them. I wish all of you a generous Thanksgiving!