It’s that time of year!
That’s right: time for Thanksgiving Eve worship (and, more importantly, the pie that follows). In my sermon preparation for this Wednesday night, I came upon this quote from Preaching Through the Christian Year: Year A. This is a handy preaching resource. You should totally pick it up! Or, you know, pick up the Year B edition, since we are almost there.
But anyway. Here is what Craddock, Hayes, Holladay, and Tucker have to say about the Epistle reading for Thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 9:6-15):
“For Paul, the sure mark of being pagan is the inability, or refusal, to give thanks. Those incapable of thanksgiving are those who have exchanged the creature for the Creator, and in doing so have forfeited ‘the truth about God’ (Rom. 1:25). By contrast, the capacity to give thanks becomes the earmark of true faith, for it recognizes who is creature and who is creator.”
Recognize who is creature and who is creator. This is one of those things that sounds easy but is actually hard. It’s hard to thank God, because thanking God means acknowledging that our blessings come not from our own work, but from God’s grace.
This week, as we set our Thanksgiving tables, make our Black Friday battle plans, and gather with family and friends, let’s recognize that it was not us who made all this possible, but God. Let’s thank God, who made us, who loves us, who sets us free.
And then, let’s eat too much pie, just like God created us to do.
Update: Sometimes I get carried away by striking rhetoric, and offend people I do not mean to offend (not that I generally go around trying to offend anyone, of course). And, truly, I do not mean to offend or be disrespectful to actual Pagans, or people of other faiths, who certainly have their own rich traditions rooted in a sense of gratitude for and awareness of the gift of life. As one of my friends pointed out, many Christian celebrations are rooted in these very Pagan traditions. So, truly, I apologize.
The great thing about Thanksgiving–or at least, my ideal vision of Thanksgiving–is that there is room at the table for all of us.
And, by the by, here is a vision of that ideal Thanksgiving, courtesy of Harold and the Purple Crayon:
Thanks be to pie.