Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Commemoration of Clement of Rome, Pastor
November 23, 2009

The Lord be with you

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is a day with a mixed lineage. In part it is a harvest festival, where we give thanks to the Lord for a bountiful harvest and for providing for us throughout the past year. As such it draws its national roots from the Pilgrims who held such a feast with local Indians in 1621. Another prominent reason nations have declared a day of thanksgiving is a victory in battle. As such the citizens give thanks for the continued safety of the nation. Though thought of by many as a religious holiday, it is really a national holiday. It does not appear on Liturgical Calendars. That does not mean that our faith is not an important part of Thanksgiving. After all, it is to our Triune God that we give thanks. But first and foremost it has historically been a “First Article” festival. That is to say, it deals with the blessings spoken of in the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed. In Martin Luther’s Small Catechism he wrote:

    The First Article

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

    What does this mean? I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.

    He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.

    He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil.

    All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.

    This is most certainly true.
At Lamb of God Lutheran (LCMS) we will have a Thanksgiving Eve worship service, beginning at 7:00 PM. As this is not a major religious festival we will not be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. For our liturgy we will be using Compline (Prayer at the Close of the Day), which begins on page 253. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 67. The antiphon is verse 7. Our Scripture readings are Joel 2:21-27, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, and Matthew 6:25-33. Our hymns will be “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (LSB 790), “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” (LSB 524), “We Give Thee But Thine Own” (LSB 781:1-2, 6), and “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” (LSB 892). The sermon is titled: “How to Pray, Praise, and Give Thanks (in Difficult Times)”.

Following the service our choir will have a practice.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

No comments:

Post a Comment