Living in Gratitude
For most, November is a time of thankfulness. In many cultures, it is the time when harvest has been brought in and people rejoice in God’s goodness. The pilgrims remembered God’s goodness and gathered together around the table to partake of God’s provision.
For most Christians in the world, November starts with All Saints Day, a time to thank the Lord for the faithful who have gone before. November 4, we will have a special worship service to commemorate those who have helped us in our own faith walk and to praise God for putting wonderful people in our lives. There will be a special ritual of remembrance. If there have been great influences in your faith walk who have passed away, invite their family to be part of our services. I am sure they will appreciate that the church still remembers their loved ones.
November 11 is Veterans Sunday. On this Sunday, we worship as citizens of God's kingdom in Jesus Christ and give thanks for those who have served so that we may be free to worship God.
November 18 is Thanksgiving Sunday. In anticipation of Thanksgiving Day, on this Sunday, we shall together as a church, thank our lord for all the blessings we have received. It is also Bible Sunday. We thank God for the Bible which guides us through life and tells us the story of our God who is gracious. We will also dedicate new pew bibles on this Sunday. If you have a family bible or a special bible that has helped you in your faith walk, be sure to bring it on this Sunday so that we can bring it before God to thank him for his word.
November 22 is Thanksgiving Day. Of course, Thanksgiving Day is very important to all of us. On this day, together with our loved ones, we thank God for all that he has blessed us with. I am including in this issue of Spirit of 706, a short devotional which you can use with your family before you partake of Thanksgiving dinner. (see page 1.)
November 25 is Christ the King Sunday. This Sunday reminds us that for Christians, Thanksgiving is much more than a time to be thankful for material provisions. Christ is the one who has power over life and death and over all things in life and life eternal. We celebrate the gathering of family around the bounty of the Thanksgiving table, knowing the abundance before us, the warmth of family, the joy of loving company, are only possible because our Lord is Jesus Christ.
Much of the month ahead gives us insight into God’s goodness – it is a good time to embark on a life-long pilgrimage of gratitude and thankfulness. Colossians 2:6 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” This season reminds us that we who have been blessed ought to live lives that recognize the source of all goodness; we ought to live lives fully and completely for our Lord.
Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church