By The Reverend Christine V. Hides
Happy New Year! Did you know that yesterday was Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the church year? We are at the threshold of Advent which begins on December 1. In Sunday School and Children’s Chapel we wondered together about how the church calendar is organized around Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost—the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Time is precious. By organizing our time in this way we make a powerful statement about Jesus Christ as Lord, the center of our hearts and lives.
The younger children’s parent pages for this week offer a good explanation of the Circle of the Church Year. As we discussed the purple, green, red, and white church “clock,” several children asked about Thanksgiving. The day of feasting with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie is not one of the special days on our church calendar. However, each Sunday we offer thanks and praise to God through our worship pattern of Gathering, Word, Table (or Response), and Sending. At the Table, during the sacrament of Holy Communion, there is a prayer of Great Thanksgiving, which gives thanks for God’s mighty acts throughout history, especially in Jesus Christ. In this way we are formed as a people for whom gratitude is central. With thanks and praise we proclaim Christ the king of heaven and earth (see the hymn below).
As you begin a week of Thanksgiving festivities, at home or on the road, you are invited to use this brief service to center your celebration in gratitude.
May you experience God’s abundant gifts with family, food, and friends this week and always.
P.S. Did you see the church video about gratitude that went viral this week? It is worth a look.