Thursday, November 24, 2011

A General Thanksgiving

The table is set; therefore let us keep the feast. Humble perhaps by many standards, but no lest festive than all the others. A month ago today David suffered a stroke. Thankfully it was a very tiny one. Still for a young man, age 31, it was a shock, both literally and figuratively.
We were the beneficiaries of a host of prayers, good thoughts, and benevolent vibes of all sorts .
A short month later, we are here, together as a family to celebrate Thanksgiving.
For Christian folk, Thanksgiving is not only a holiday but a way of life. The Eucharist is a word that means "Thanksgiving". The word, however is a verb, not a noun, for it is in the doing of gratitude that we find life's joy and abundance.
We celebrate the Eucharist at our birth at Baptism, at our Marriages, at times of illness, and of course at the ultimate moment of life when we enter the Blessed rest of Eternal Life. In the meantime, Sunday after Sunday and at all major Feast Days, we mark the seasons with this kind of gratitude.
It is a gratitude that expresses our Love for God by expressing our love for one another. It is no gratitude at all unless it is marked by a quest for Justice through which we strive for Peace.
Today, no less than all days we said our prayers. David said the "Grace" today. He recited with us gathered at our Table the ancient words of the General Thanksgiving that comes from the Prayer Book Tradition.
It seemed especially appropriate that we say this prayer today. It is one of David's favorite. It is among mine as well. We got to the word "preservation" before the voices broke and the tears fell, broken voices and tears of the profoundest gratitude we are capable of.
May God grant us so to live with gratitude that God's joy may be in us, and that God's joy may be complete.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

May the Blessing of Gratitude be with you all
Fr. Paul

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! Keep up the good work of building God's kingdom.