On the eve of Thanksgiving Day I would like to offer you a gift from our Book of Common Prayer. All the way at the back of the book on page 836 there is a beautiful prayer humbly entitled, A General Thanksgiving.
- A General Thanksgiving
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.
The prayer was written by Howard Galley, the same person who wrote the Eucharistic Prayer with the beautiful reference to “this fragile earth, our island home.” I love the breadth of gratitude expressed in this prayer, from the splendor of the whole creation to family, to work that matters, and even to the struggles and failures of life.
On this Thanksgiving Day, whether you are giving thanks for family and their loving care or for disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on God alone, I pray that you will know the peace of Christ. Thank you for being a part of this congregation. The love and community we share give us access to the blessings of Christ, to the gift of the Spirit, and to the joy of knowing God’s love and making that love known. Together we live our vision that, “On earth as in heaven, all are welcome, all are fed, and all are loved.”
Thanks be to God.