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Thanksgiving Letter from the Rector

11/23/2017

“All Good gifts around us are sent from heaven above;
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord for all his love.”
-- M. Claudius (1740-1815)

About 40 years ago, the Reverend Charles Price penned the following passages for what would become the next edition of The Book of Common Prayer.

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us.

We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

On this day of Thanksgiving, these passages put in to words what many of us try to say on this day. 

For many, 2017 has been a challenging year on a personal level. For many, 2017 has been a challenging year at the communal level.  In challenging times, it can be difficult for us to remember to give thanks.  But today, we make an extra-special effort to reflect on the many ways we are thankful and to do just that – Give thanks to God.

While the Reverend Price’s reflections noted above are excellent guides for thanksgiving, there is an additional reflection that he includes that rises above them all: 

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

The foundation and center of our thankfulness is Jesus Christ, and it is above all else that we recognize and ground our thankfulness in Jesus Christ.  I invite us to focus on just one part of this last reflection:  “the example of his life”. 

The example of Jesus’ life is a life devoted totally to God.  The example of Jesus’ life is a life devoted more to Godly love and compassion than earthly love and compassion. The example of Jesus’ life is a life lived for more than the individual, but for the benefit of all.

Therefore, we give thanks.  We give thanks for all that God has done and continues to do for us.  We give thanks, above all, for the example of Jesus’ life – an example that we are invited to follow.  Let us show our thankfulness by seeking to follow Jesus’ example more closely.

 

Thanks be to God!

 

 


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The November 2017 newsletter
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