From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
I hope this email finds you happy and full of a sense of gratitude on this holiday weekend. As we do each year, my family is in Nashville celebrating the holiday with Bethany's side of the family. Every year we look forward to this time together to take a step back from our busy schedules and reconnect with one another.
Thanksgiving, of course, is not just a holiday in November, it is central to our worship as a church. The prayer in Holy Communion which consecrates the bread and the wine is, according to tradition, called "The Great Thanksgiving." Even the word Holy Eucharist itself comes from the Greek word "eucharisto," the Greek word for thanksgiving.
In truth, gratitude is at the heart of the spiritual and sacramental life. In Holy Eucharist, with gratitude for all of God's gifts, we offer up our tithes and treasure in the alms basin, bread and wine, and our very selves. God's gracious mercy accepts all of these gifts and joins them with the sacrifice of Christ. They are then given back to us.
Our tithes and treasures are given back to us, transformed by God's grace, into the ministries of our corporate body. They become songs and hymns that enliven our hearts, boilers and walls that keep us warm as we seek to do Christ's will, they become incarnate in the ministry staff who lead our community in a variety of ways.
The bread and wine are given back to us as the very body and blood of Christ, a sharing in his suffering and also a sharing in the whole body of Christ throughout the world and throughout time.
And we receive ourselves back as well, our souls and bodies, as the embodiment of Christ in our own time. On our own, none of us could truly embody Jesus, but though the grace of gratitude—offered up in Holy Eucharist—we do find ourselves continually transformed further into his likeness.
I hope you will find time for gratitude today, no matter the blessings in your life. But I also hope you will find yourself inspired to offer up a sacrifice of thanksgiving, a gift of who you are to the work of God in this world.
After all, that is how you become the cause for gratitude for someone else who is hurting, searching, or wondering where God is in their life.
Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, December 1, 2019 online here.
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