Dear Friends in Christ,
Giving thanks is at the centre of living the Christian life. It may seem all too obvious, but when we gather, a normal worship event is Eucharist. “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving.”
In these days of the continuing worldwide pandemic, thanksgiving can be a challenge. Our lives have been changed. Our routines are disrupted. There’s an extra layer of attention necessary with almost everything we do. And while all of that weighs on some, has enormous economic impact on others and is deemed unnecessary by far too many, the Christian response to COVID-19 needs to be thanks-giving.
We don’t welcome illness nor can we ignore the reasonable care now necessary whenever we come in closer contact with one another. But we do need to give thanks: give thanks that we are able to gather (observing precautions within our circles); give thanks that while much of the world is being devastated by COVID-19, we are relatively safe where we live; give thanks that in the midst of our challenges, God is good and will provide what we need.
Thanksgiving for Christians is not just about pumpkins, apples and pretty autumn leaves even though these gifts too deserve our thanks. For the Church our Lord died to save, every day is thanksgiving. In every annoyance, there is a blessing. With every challenge comes an opportunity to grow. Even in the midst of chaos, there is reminder that God’s order of creation is a visible sign that continues to guide us toward living for him.
As we gather for worship on the second Sunday of October, the weekend the civic calendar calls “thanksgiving,” let us remember that historic Christian faith invented the concept. Let us give thanks for what we do have even in the face of what we don’t. Let us respond faithfully with genuine thanks for God’s continuing provision.
It is customary at the time of Christian festivals to make offerings of thanks. Please look in your boxed set of envelopes for the one marked “Thanksgiving.” If online giving is more convenient, visit the “Give Now” page of the Cathedral website to make your gift and you will receive immediately a receipt for income tax purposes.
May the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you and yours.
Dean of Fredericton