Our God you have created a wondrous place in which to live. With childlike eyes we see the beauty and grandeur of mountain and forest, of river and seashore. We marvel at the infinite variety of species that form the jigsaw of life – birds and beasts, flowers and trees. We give thanks for the variety of cultures that weave the tapestry of humanity east and west, north and south. We give thanks that in the midst of all this you have a place for us and we give thanks for the variety of our own lives, things we have done and things we have learned, for those we love and those who care for us. We give thanks for the variety of ways in which people serve us with advice and learning, with skills and training, with concern and understanding, with trust and sharing. We give thanks for all we have received and that we are also given the opportunity to serve others. Grant us the vision of who we are and what we can offer others in your name. Amen
Prayer of Confession:
Because we live in this modern, tech-driven, twittering age, we often forget what you have done for us, God of every blessing. We pat ourselves on the back for our ability to learn new computer skills, but have forgotten that life is more than a machine. We have more than we could ever use yet, like squirrels, store up more and more. Our faith is often pushed to the back of the closet, to make room for all the fears we wear so easily.
Forgive us, Restorer of life. As you clothe us with your grace and mercy, may we share with those who have so little. As our hearts overflow with your love and wonder, may we offer them as gifts to everyone we meet. As you feed us with your joy and hope, may we welcome to the Table all those whose lives are filled with tears and pain. As we gather with family and friends during this season, may we continue to give thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
New Testament Lesson: I Timothy 2: 1 -8 NRSV (source)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all—this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.
Old Testament Lesson: Deuteronomy 8: 7-18 NRSV (source)
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper.
You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you. Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, “My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.
- No. 551 – Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
- No. 559 – We Gather Together
- No. 554 – Let All Things Now Living
“Giving Thanks for Our Blessings” – Rev. Dr. Martha Jordan