Sunday, November 19 – 10:00am
Sunday is the annual Thanksgiving Sunday at St. Mark’s. Thanksgiving is very much a secular holiday, but it has its roots in many faith cultures. As a child I have fond memories of going to church for Harvest Festival. Everybody would bring produce and other foods to the church, and they would be used creatively to decorate the sanctuary. Then, there would be a celebration Harvest Supper followed by food distribution to poor and hungry people in the community. In our materialistic consumer culture, it is sometimes hard to keep alive a spirit of thanksgiving and sharing generously. God’s gifts are in plentiful supply all around us; and yet some people don’t have enough for even basic survival.
Deuteronomy calls faithful people to remember the ways in which God has provided during hard times, and to continue to give thanks for God’s active presence in our lives now and into the future.
Deuteronomy 8:7-18 Common English Bible
Because the Lord your God is bringing you to a wonderful land, a land with streams of water, springs, and wells that gush up in the valleys and on the hills; a land of wheat and barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without any shortage-you won’t lack a thing there-a land where stone is hard as iron and where you will mine copper from the hills. You will eat, you will be satisfied, and you will bless the Lord your God in the wonderful land that he’s given you.
But watch yourself! Don’t forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commands or his case laws or his regulations that I am commanding you right now. When you eat, get full, build nice houses, and settle down, and when your herds and your flocks are growing large, your silver and gold are multiplying, and everything you have is thriving, don’t become arrogant, forgetting the Lord your God: the one who rescued you from Egypt, from the house of slavery; the one who led you through this vast and terrifying desert of poisonous snakes and scorpions, of cracked ground with no water; the one who made water flow for you out of a hard rock; the one who fed you manna in the wilderness, which your ancestors had never experienced, in order to humble and test you, but in order to do good to you in the end.
Don’t think to yourself, My own strength and abilities have produced all this prosperity for me. Remember the Lord your God! He’s the one who gives you the strength to be prosperous in order to establish the covenant he made with your ancestors-and that’s how things stand right now.
Prayers please for:
Ginny Baldauf, Isabelle Duncan, Joseph Lappia, Nancy Lawman, Steve Mitchell, Vivian Noble, Pat Rush, Marlene Schmitz, Ava Watkins, Fire Victims
The continuing struggle for many victims of the fires across California, and the people of Puerto Rico and other impacted Caribbean islands.