Happy Thanksgiving! The holiday stands for freedom because it reminds us that the Pilgrims, a Christian sect that had been living in the Netherlands because of religious persecution in England, came to the New World to find freedom of worship.
Thanksgiving also stands for self-government. While still on board, the travelers signed the Mayflower Compact, setting up the first “civil body politic” in the New World and setting the example for other countries around the world to establish governments based on the consent of the governed.
Thanksgiving also stands for courage. More than half of the settlers died during that first bleak winter, but the remainder struggled on and the settlement survived.
Thanksgiving also stands for harmony among diverse people. That first harvest meal shared with local Indians, though later overshadowed by warfare between settlers and Indians, remains a vivid symbol of good will and hospitality.
After Thanksgiving comes Advent, the first season of the Christian year. Advent means the arrival of someone or something important. The ancient Jewish people were convinced that God would send a champion with mighty power to save them from sin, evil, and death. Jewish leaders were normally anointed with oil to signify their status, so one of the terms used for this future savior was Messiah, meaning “anointed one.” The Greek translation of Messiah is Christos (or Christ).
Christians believe the Jesus was God’s champion and in fact that he was God himself. In the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, we hear again the Jewish prophecies about the saving Messiah and we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. God’s champion came, not in mighty power, but in humility.
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 25, we celebrate a communion service with music –10:00 am.
Every Sunday in Advent Join us at 10:00 a.m. It will enrich your life.
Happy Thanksgiving Bob! Bless your Advent season. If you are in town on Dec. 18th you are invited as our special guest to the dessert theater play we are hosting at St. Barnabas. Blessings, Fr. Harley+