Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

On this Thanksgiving Day I am grateful for family and friends, life and health, the gifts that God so freely gives and the call to serve with those gifts that comes to each of us every day. I give thanks for those who regularly read this blog (including those who are critical of the things I write and quote), and I wish all of you every blessing. And I am struck anew by the wonderful "General Thanksgiving" in The Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Thanks be to God for the gift of the Prayer Book, whose liturgies, collects and prayers train us how to pray when our own words fail us.

Thanks be to God for the gift of Holy Scripture, which contains all things necessary to salvation and which, as we read and study and prayerfully engage this gift, trains us to embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.

Thanks be to God for the gift of the catholic creeds that succinctly summarize the story and preserve the mystery of the Church's faith.

Thanks be to God for the gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who loved us so much that he was willing to give everything for our sakes, including his life.

And thanks be to God for the one holy catholic and apostolic Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery, the mystical body of Christ into whose risen life our lives are forever joined in the sacrament of Holy Baptism and who reminds us that we are graciously accepted as living members of Christ's body in the sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

William Law sums it up best:

"Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God's goodness, as if you had seen it, and all things, new-created upon your account; and under the sense of so great a blessing, let your joyful heart praise and magnify so good and glorious a Creator."


Apis Melliflora said...

I am thankful you are such an eloquent faith-filled writer.

Bryan Owen said...

Thanks, Apis Melliflora!