Grace and peace to you from God our father and our Lord Jesus Christ!
I love where Thanksgiving falls in relation to the church calendar. Our calendar begins four sundays before Christmas with the season of Advent. Christ the King sunday (this year on November 25) is our New Year’s Eve, and it falls three days after Thanksgiving. How fantastic is that? To end the church year, sent into Advent with a spirit of thankfulness and celebration.
The LEAD team has done a lot of focusing on hearing and telling stories. For people of faith, thankfulness for what God has done is a part of our story. When God closed the Red Sea behind the Israelites and they knew they were finally free from slavery, the first thing they did was sing songs, praising God and thanking him for saving them (Exodus 15). Paul starts most letters by thanking and praising God for the congregations he was writing to (Romans 1:8, 1 Corinthians 1:4, 2 Corinthians 1:3, Philippians 1:3, etc.).
And so, as our liturgical year comes to a close, I give thanks to God for this congregation. I give thanks that you have welcomed me and accepted the call to help prepare me as a leader in the Church. I give thanks for the ways you have responded to the call for hunger ministries, for fellowship ministries, for youth ministries and education ministries and justice ministries.
What is your story of thankfulness? What have you seen God doing? Let us give thanks together.