Okay, I have a confession. Rarely do
I do these as your pastor. But, I have to make it
known. You ready? ...deep, dramatic breath...
Iíve already started making my list of all the
things I want to do/accomplish in 2018.
Yea, Iím one of those people. What makes me
different is that instead of calling it a ďNew
Yearís ResolutionĒ list, I call it, ďThe Things Iím
Going to Try and Do that Will Bring a Smile to My
FaceĒ list. What a catchy name, yea?
Want to know what is number one on my list? To live
from a place of thankfulness.
Did you know in Greek the word for thanksgiving is
Eucharist? Which is what the long prayer we offer up
before we celebrate communion is often titled ďThe
Great Prayer of ThanksgivingĒ.
The Great Thanksgiving prayer is in fact thatóa
prayer of thanks. It tells the story of the gospel;
it reminds us of Godís promises, Christís
faithfulness, and the Holy Spiritís presence. The
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving gives thanks for
creation, then for redemption (a fancy word meaning
the action of God not leaving us to our own
devices), moving through Christ's conception and
birth to his suffering and death and then to his
resurrection and ascension. In giving thanks and
retelling the story of salvation history, we are
reminded of Godís graces and how in the simple meal
of bread and juice/wine, we are united as Godís
family, on earth, and in heaven.
Communion, the Lordís Supper, the Eucharistóit is a
meal of thanksgiving. It is a taste of what will be
and a reminder of how all of life is a gift. A gift
best experienced when shared with one another. So
yea, I want to live this type of lifeóa Eucharistic
life. And there is no better time to start than
today, in this season of thanksgiving.
Iím thankful for you, friend. Iím
thankful that somewhere along the way your story and
my story crossed, and that together we are telling
the life-giving story of God. What a story it is,
too. It is one full of beauty and heartache, good
times and hard times, bountiful harvests and valleys
of dry bones. Yet the thesis, the main point, the
good news in it all is the promise of Godís
So, as we move into the official
start to these Ďholy days,í I share with you one of
my favorite quotes from Presbyterian pastor and
writer, Frederick Buchner:
The grace of God means something like: Here is your
life. You might never have been, but you are because
the party wouldn't have been complete without you.
May you know how thankful we are for you. May you
know how delighted God is to call you Godís own. May
you know, in the deepest part of your being, the
truth in the psalmist words:
God is God,
And God has bathed us in light.
Festoon the shrine with garlands,
hang colored banners above the altar!
Youíre our God, and we thank you.
O my God, we lift high your praise.
Thank GodóGodís so good.
Godís love never quits!
[Adam Quine, pastor of First Presbyterian Church