Nov 22, 2011

Thanksgiving and the Eucharist

If you've read my blog at all, you probably know of my appreciation for the church calendar. I think that it is a fantastic way to create regular spiritual rhythms throughout the year. The church year is actually about to begin with the first Sunday of Advent on November 27. Before Advent begins, however, there is another holiday that is not a church holiday. This Thursday is Thanksgiving, a day packed with food, football, family, and afternoon naps. It is supposed to be a day of being thankful for what we have and what we've been given. Thanksgiving is not a church holiday, but I believe that it ought to be.

Since Jesus instituted it, the church has had it's own Thanksgiving feast. This feast, however, is not celebrated only once a year. Many churches celebrate this thanksgiving every week. The celebration that I am talking about is the Eucharist. The Eucharist is now know to many as the Lord's Supper or Communion. The name "eucharist" is a from Greek word and means "thanksgiving." The celebration of the Lord's supper includes a time of giving thanks to God for what he has done for us.

I find it oddly appropriate that before the church calendar begins, millions celebrate a day of thanksgiving.  Before we begin the church holiday cycle again, it seems providential that we set aside a day of thanksgiving and give thanks one more time for what God has done this past year. I would encourage you to be intentional about what you are thankful for this thanksgiving. I'm not saying that everyone should celebrate communion on Thanksgiving day, but we should be remembering what we should be the most thankful for, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus on the Cross. No matter what has happened in the past year, we can thank God for Jesus' sacrifice. We should regularly give thanks like we should regularly discuss Christ's birth, death, and resurrection. But just like Christmas and Easter, the church should set aside a day to throw a large party to give thanks to God for what he has done. So before we enter the season anticipation, give thanks to the Lord for what he has done.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Ps. 106:1

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