This weekend we will celebrate a combination of two distinctive holidays that we are entwining because of their overlay in our calendar.
The first is Christ the King, which is the New Year’s Eve of the liturgical year. It is the very last Sunday of the church year, when we say goodbye to the old year and prepare to welcome the new next weekend with the beginning of Advent. On this final Sunday of the year, we remember Christ’s final return in glory to judge the living and the dead, quite the contrast to his first arrival as the little child of Bethlehem.
The second holiday we will lift up this weekend is Thanksgiving. This is not a church holiday, but a national one. However, it does have its place in our liturgy, because giving thanks is meant to be at the heart of everything we do. Because God does so much for us – we give thanks. At all times. In all things. Always.
And of all the blessings God lavishes upon us, there is none more essential than our harvest. The food that God provides for us. The hands the farm it. That prepare it. That serve it. All the ways that God is at work in that process. For remember, the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it. There is nothing in our lives that does not come from God, a God we know all the better because of God’s Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, our Lord and King.
So my encouragement for all of us is to remember the words of that classic Thanksgiving hymn as we enter into worship this weekend and gather at our tables next week: Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home; all is safely fathered in, ere the winter storms begin. God our Maker doth provide that our wants should be supplied; come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.
Blessings, Pastor Janie