Eucharistia. It is a Greek word that we use every single week when we gather for worship, and it means thanksgiving or thankfulness. We normally use it as a proper noun to refer to our worship in The Episcopal Church – The Holy Eucharist. When we gather as a body, we come together to give thanks to God for all the things that God has gifted to us, and we give thanks through time-honored rituals and practices that invite us deeper into the holy mysteries of God.
Today, as I wait for cornbread to cook in the oven so I can get on with the Thanksgiving Day rituals like eating turkey and cornbread dressing and apple pie, I am also giving thanks for each one of you – the members of Epiphany. We have travelled a challenging road this year as a parish, and you have responded with grace and with faithfulness.
The people in our lives that bring grace and love into our world are what make this day special for many of us. In a year in which gathering with our loved ones is probably not the wisest course of action, many of us find ourselves celebrating Thanksgiving with our families using Zoom or FaceTime or some other kind of video conferencing tool. We find ourselves, once again, figuring out how to honor the rituals and practices of our common life in America in a new way.
As I break bread at my table today, I will be offering a prayer each of you – for each member of the Body of Christ that gathers at Church of the Epiphany. Christ is shining through each and every one of you, and together, we are part of the light of Christ that illumines the darkness. Today, I give thanks for being part of what is happening at Church of the Epiphany, and I give thanks for the ways that we are growing together in the fullness of the stature of Christ.
Let us pray.
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families – no matter how you are gathering with loved ones today.