28th Sunday in Ordinary Time - October 11, 2020 - Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving

Even in the Midst of a Pandemic

For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps the biggest life-changing event that we as a country will face. Fortunately, our generation has missed the great depression and world wars which caused even greater lifestyle changes than what we are facing today. As we all know, this pandemic has caused long lasting effects in the lives of the people. Churches are no longer fully functioned, concerts are cancelled and vacations postponed. The coronavirus has caused significant declines in the world’s financial markets, decreasing the value of people’s investments and retirement funds.

It is easy for people to become bitter and frightened in these circumstances, and many will blame God. God’s Word tells us of a better way: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–17). These verses give us actions that will enable us to overcome the worst circumstances. We aren’t told just to “feel better” but to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks…”

There’s a lot to give thanks for, too, when we’re going through difficult times. God is with us, and He is control. What a joy we have knowing that we have God’s presence and protection. We have God’s strong and abiding presence through His Word and Sacrament. Each and every day, we have the opportunity to turn to God in His Word to be uplifted and refreshed even when the world around us seems to be closing down. Through the faith that God gives us, we know it is God’s will that we rejoice in Him and seek His peace in the midst of this virus pandemic.

In the midst of this crisis, the Church still continues its vital mission and ministry. Jesus tells us, “I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). God promises us that nothing will overcome the Church because it rests on Jesus. The Church is here to minister to the bitter, frightened, and doubtful. May God help us all during these challenging times to be the light that He wants us to be.

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Thanksgiving Day Meal Prayer

Bless this food we have before us, O God.

Let it provide the nourishment we need.

Bless our family and our friends gathered around this table.

Let us be nourished by our love and care for one another.

Bless those who have less than we have.

Let our eyes be open to their needs.

Bless us as we bless Your Holy Name on this day of Thanksgiving.

Let us praise and thank you always in Jesus’ name.  

Amen.