22 Thanksgiving Pastoral
This time of year offers a particularly noticeable display of the handiwork of God. As leaves turn brilliant, even as lush greens turn to earth tones, we’re reminded that we’ve come to another end of the growing season and that it’s time to capture as much of God’s goodness as possible as winter marches ever closer.
Those capturings by making pickles, bagging potatoes, freezing tomatoes and grabbing a hamper of squash for later have all become habits for many of us and, at least some of them have been woven into family custom and tradition. The year just isn’t the same without them!
It’s helpful habits that assure healthy life-giving attitudes. Habits help bolster those “steadfast wills” spoken of in the collect for Harvest Thanksgiving. We’re living in a culture where the familiar customs and once taken for granted emphases are falling by the wayside. As church attendance continues its decline so doesn’t participation in community service organizations. In the church we sometimes feel as if its only the Christian body of the faithful being impacted by the changes afoot. In fact, it’s far bigger and reaches far beyond just the Church. Our culture is transforming before our eyes. It’s no surprise that those of us who have lived it longest are the first to detect the danger that lurks in the sometimes gradual, sometimes speedier, habitual change.
With the loss of focus and even, disturbing to those who believe, the growing lack of belief in God at all, what is lost is far from only where we may happen to be on Sunday mornings. Sadly, the tides of faithfulness are receding. With them is the maintenance of age-old commitments to worship God as the Body of his Son in the Spirit. That retreat is evidence of a far greater loss for everybody – what we’ve come to take for granted may one day be no more. There is a false promise of abundance in a world without God. It requires no thanksgiving since it is no more than what we deserve. It requires no acknowledgment of the Source of it all. It mocks the reality of grace and perhaps even denies life itself.
You’re invited to join the Cathedral congregation as we continue the tradition of thankfulness on October 9th, 2022, 8:00 or 10:30 a.m. when we gather around the table of Christian thanksgiving. If the pandemic or a distraction has prevented you from being in community over the last several months, know that regardless of any of that, your friends will be ever so pleased to see you. If you’re unable to be present but would like to make your Communion, please contact the Cathedral Office and an appointment to visit can be arranged.
Dean of Fredericton