- Deuteronomy 26:1-11
- Psalm 100
- Philippians 4:4-9
- John 6:25-35
The church recognizes the traditional Thanksgiving holiday as a holy day for our land, life, and heritage. We are called to be faithful stewards of the earth as God’s creation, given to us as a sacred trust. Simple living, with respect for each other and the earth’s resources, is a way to be thankful stewards for our blessings so that all may share them.
The meaning of Eucharist is Thanksgiving. The reading from Deuteronomy recalls the Lord’s mighty salvation of Israel from slavery in Egypt, and the people are bid to offer in thanksgiving the first fruits of their fields. John’s Gospel of the story of the feeding of the five thousand by Jesus recalls the story of the food miraculously provided to the Israelites in the wilderness. Christians perceive in this meal a foretaste of the heavenly banquet in heaven. It also prefigures the Eucharist. Jesus is the bread come down from heaven.
Today, we remember our heritage of struggle for freedom. The cornucopia is a symbol of the fruits and grains of the earth’s bounty. There are many prayers of thanksgiving in The Book of Common Prayer:
- The General Thanksgiving (BCP 58/71/101)
- Litany of Thanksgiving (BCP 836)
- The Thanksgiving Day Collect (BCP 194/246)
- Rogation Day Collects (BCP 207/258)
God, whose word is engrained in all we eat and drink: free us from the consumption that destroys the roots of life; teach us to eat the living bread in whom all hungers are satisfied by the life that gives of itself and is never consumed; through Jesus Christ, the Lord of the harvest. Amen. “Prayers for An Inclusive Church” by Steven Shakespeare (2009: Church Publishing)