November 25

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Christ is enthroned let's give God thanks

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Revelation 1:4–8 NRSV
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Recognizing Your Thanks

What are you thankful for? That’s a question that we often ask around this time of year, and for good reason. During the Thanksgiving season we are surrounded by family and friends, those whom we love and those who love us. And so our sense of delight, gratitude and thanksgiving are heightened.
Thanksgiving is not a Christian holiday. Unlike Christmas and Easter, it’s roots do not extend to the earliest Christians. In fact, in the span of human history, thanksgiving is a newbie on the block. Although we like to picture pilgrims in New England and Virginia celebrating the first Thanksgiving to thank God for their crops and lives in the new world. The modern thanksgiving, celebrated on a fixed day of the year, was established by Abraham Lincoln, get this, on the final Thursday of November. In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt changed the day to the fourth Thursday in November.
In many of our minds, Thanksgiving is a purely American holiday, drenched with gravy, and typified by Turkey and Pumpkin pie. But other cultures and countries celebrate thanksgiving too. In fact, Thanksgiving is celebrated in parts of the Caribbean islands, Liberia, and Canada who, in fact, has a pretty good argument that the first Thanksgiving day was celebrated there.

I love thanksgiving. And that’s sort of a recent development for me. That wasn’t always the case. Growing up thanksgiving was the hurdle that I had to jump over in order to get to Christmas. Every year many of us complain that businesses seem to ignore Thanksgiving and jump straight from Halloween to Christmas. Thanksgiving has somehow managed to escape the commercialism that so often plagues Christmas. And so I think, for Christians, Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity to slow down and acknowledge what we have to be Thankful for.

Taken as a whole, this opening salutation from the seer of Patmos subversively declares to a Christian community under imperial threat that with the Lord God, there is always more: more transformation to come than the earth has yet seen, more power and authority than that claimed by earthly rulers, more dignity for God’s people than earthly rulers recognize

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