What Do We Give Thanks For?

Today I give thanks

Today I give thanks @Christine Sine

Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving, a tradition that I have embraced with great enthusiasm since I have lived in the U.S. I have already posted a Thanksgiving – Harvest prayer for 2012 and decided there is really no need for another. Yesterday when I posted the above prayer on Light for the Journey’s Facebook page, one of my friends responded:

I want to be able to feel warmed by those words.I want to find faith and hope – right now I can’t! They don’t fit some of us in the UK- for today is really tough and full of pain for those of us who are female priests in the Church of England, and are facing yesterday’s grim decision that our gender still cannot be Bishops. I was in the first wave of women to be ordained as a priests over here.

It made me realize that even in our thanks and gratitude we live in the tension of God’s kingdom now and not yet. The glimpses of God’s kingdom that fill us with awe and wonder, that bring us to our knees with shouts of praise and gratitude are unfortunately just that, glimpses of a world that we desperately long for but do not yet see fully realized. The pain of my sisters in the U.K. who are so devastated by the General Synod no vote to women bishops is my pain. Oppression in Syria, Israel, Columbia, and North Korea oppresses my soul. The environmental degradation that devastates rainforests in Brazil, contributes to the destruction of hurricane Sandy, and wipes out species in Africa, these degrade my spirit.

Our celebrations at thanksgiving. Our gratitude and praise to God for the many blessings we see in our lives should not blind us to the suffering of others. In fact it should inspire us with the desire to see others rejoice and celebrate in the same ways that we can.

So my question for all of us at this season is What are we doing to bring thanksgiving and gratitude into the lives of those who are suffering, oppressed or marginalized? 

For more Thanksgiving prayers check out these from the last few years:

A Thanksgiving Prayer for 2011

A Thanksgiving Prayer for 2010

A Thanksgiving Prayer for 2009

A Thanksgiving Prayer for 2011

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day here in the U.S. I love this opportunity to gather with friends and family and give thanks. We are so generously blessed yet rarely take time to thank the God who provides so abundantly. The following prayer I wrote this morning as I reflected on the many blessings of my life. It is adapted from other prayers that I have written throughout the year.

God may we pause in the busyness of this day and listen to your quiet whispers,

May we look back with gratitude,

May we look forward with anticipation

May our hearts respond with thankfulness, and our lives respond with praise.

God may we live fully in the wonder of this moment,

Our eyes open to see in every sight a cathedral giving glory,

Our ears unstopped to hear in every sound angels singing Alleluia

May we enjoy each cathedral moment before it bursts, giving thanks and seeing God.

God the fulfiller of enduring promises,

God the sharer of abundant love,

God the giver of eternal life,

For all you are and all you have done we praise and thank you today.

God of the bountiful and ever giving heart,

God of the generous and overflowing spirit,

God who gives enough for our own needs and abundance for every good work,

For the wonder of your harvest that never runs dry we praise and thank you today. 

God whose love never gives up,

God whose forgiveness never says no,

God whose mercy never lets go,

For the hope and promise of your presence we praise and thank you today.

May we always savour what each moment holds,

May we live always in the promise of God’s love and faithfulness,

May we ever trust in the One for whom all things are possible,

For all that was, for all that is and for all that is to come,

We praise and give you thanks Lord God Almighty, 

Amen

 

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S.  I did not grow up with this celebration but have embraced it with enthusiasm.  We have so much to be grateful for even when life seems difficult.  Here is the thanksgiving prayer we will be using today as part of our celebration

A Thanksgiving Liturgy

God we gather in thankfulness for the many blessings in our lives,

We praise you for your generous goodness which is new every day,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

God to you who created the earth and the heavens,

To you who are always merciful and forgiving,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

God to you who call us into relationship with yourself,

To you who give us the gift of family and friends,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

(Pause to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for)

For the universe immense and unknown

For the earth on which we live

For humankind made in your image

Thanks and praise to God our creator

For entering human history as one of us

For your life poured out in sacrifice for us

For dying that we might live

Thanks and praise to Christ our redeemer

For the comfort of your indwelling presence

For the wisdom of your guidance and direction

For drawing us together as one family

Thanks and praise to the Holy Spirit our enabler

Through your will we are made whole,

Through your love we are renewed in body, mind and spirit

Through you we become one community from every tribe and nation.

Thanks and praise to Father, Son and Spirit through all eternity.

 

Psalm 92: 1-8 (NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
2 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
3 Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
4 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
5 Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
6 you children of his servant Abraham,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God.
His justice is seen throughout the land.
8 He always stands by his covenant—
the commitment he made to a thousand generations.

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

 

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke.

 

Glory to you, O Lord.

 

Luke 22:14 – 20 (NLT)

 

When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”  Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”  He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”  After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

The Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Let us pray together now in the words Jesus taught us.

 

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed by your name.  Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen

 

Pause to offer up prayers of praise and thanksgiving

Gracious and generous God we give you thanks

For the gift of life for we are made in your image,

We pray for all your loved ones in whom your divine image is still hidden and distorted

We pray for your mercy and compassion to rest upon them

God in your mercy be with all those you love

Caring and providing God we give you thanks

For our homes that shelter and protect us,

We think of those without shelter and water and protection today

We pray for your provision to be poured out upon them

God in your mercy be with all those you love

Abundant and giving God we give you thanks

For our food that nourishes and strengthens us,

We thing of those without food and nourishment today

We pray that you will feed them with the bread of life

God in your mercy be with all those you love

Loving and compassionate God we give you thanks

For our friends and family who love and comfort us in times of need

We think of those who are alone and feel abandoned today

God comfort and surround them that they may sense your presence

God in your mercy be with all those you love

Gracious and generous God

We remember all the gifts you have given us,

We remember how lavishly you have provided,

We remember how lovingly you have cared,

We remember especially that greatest gift of all,

Jesus Christ our Saviour,

And we give you thanks.

Amen

 

A Thanksgiving Prayer

American Thanksgiving is less than a week away and we are all looking forward to what is fondly called Turkey Day.  It is my favourite American custom which I have embraced with great enthusiasm not just because I love good food and good fellowship but because I love the opportunity to think about what I am grateful for and what I have to thank God for.  It is a custom which is not celebrated in Australia but I am sure that it will be celebrated over and over in the Kingdom of God.

Wednesday evening Tom & I will be speaking at the Thanksgiving service at St Aidans Episcopal church on Camano Island.  A couple of days ago I received a request from a friend for a thanksgiving liturgy.  Last night we celebrated a pre-thanksgiving turkey meal with students at the Purple Door.  All of these opportunities have focused my attention on the coming of thanksgiving and the fact that I have so much to be grateful for – good, health, good marriage, good community, shelter, food, a job that I enjoy – the list goes on and on.  Most of all I am grateful for the gift of Christ and all that he has meant in my life.  That is the theme that I have used in this Thanksgiving liturgy.

God we gather to thank you for the many blessings in our lives,

And to praise you for your generous goodness which is new every day,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

God to you who created the earth and the heavens,

To you who are always merciful and forgiving,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

God to you who call us into relationship with yourself,

And give us the gift of family and friends,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

(Pause to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for)

For the universe immense and unknown

For the earth on which we live

For humankind made in your image

Thanks and praise to God our creator

For entering human history as one of us

For the sacrifice you made for all of us

For dying that we might live

Thanks and praise to Christ our redeemer

For the wonder of your indwelling presence

For the comfort of your guidance and direction

For drawing us together as one body

Thanks and praise to the Holy Spirit our enabler

Through your will we are made whole,

Through your love we are renewed in body, mind and spirit

Through you we become one community from every tribe and nation.

Thanks and praise to Father, Son and Spirit through all eternity.

Psalm 92 or Psalm 105

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

1 Chronicles 16: 7 – 34

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

Colossians 1: 3-6

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 10: 21 – 24

The Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray together now in the words Jesus taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed by your name.  Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen

Gracious and generous God we give you thanks

For the gift of life for we are made in your image,

We think of all those in whom your divine image is still distorted

We pray for your mercy and love to rest upon them

God in your mercy be with them

caring and providing God we give you thanks

For our homes that shelter and protect us,

We think of those without shelter and water and protection today

We pray for your provision to be poured out upon them

God in your mercy be with them

Abundant and giving God we give you thanks

For our food that nourishes and strengthens us,

We thing of those without food and nourishment today

We pray that you will feed them with the bread of life

God in your mercy be with them

Loving and compassionate God we give you thanks

For our friends and family who love and comfort us in times of need

We think of those who are alone and feel abandoned

God comfort and surround them that they may sense your presence

God in your be with them

Gracious and generous God

We remember all the gifts you have given us,

We remember how lavishly you have provided,

We remember how lovingly you have cared,

We remember especially that greatest gift of all,

Jesus Christ our Saviour,

And we give you thanks.

Amen