Giving Thanks While Remembering the Incarnation

O God of God, O Light of Light, O very God of very God, toward You I cast my mind as the tempest casts waves from the sea. Like breakers upon ancient crags do my small thoughts dash against You and fall back into themselves. In You I find—and fail to fathom—height above height and depth beyond depth, eternal and incomprehensible.

Lover of my soul, You veil Yourself from prying eyes. You hide Yourself from the curious and You rebuff the inquisitive. You hold Your radiance as a precious treasure, not as merchandise to satisfy faithless seekers who peer into the transcendent.

O Alpha and Omega, O Uncreated One, O First and Last: You are the only-begotten Son, of one substance with the Father, begotten before all worlds, begotten but not made. You made all things, both visible and invisible, whether things in heaven, or things on the earth, or things under the earth, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. By You all things consist, for You uphold all things by the word of Your power. You are before them all, and they all are by You and for You and in You.

Divine Poet, creation is Your stanza. Though You are altogether above the things that You have made, yet through Your handiwork You disclose Yourself. In the created world have You shown Yourself. By it do we clearly see invisible mysteries. Throughout Your poem have You spoken a message of eternal power and Godhead. The very skies declare Your praise to every eye. Day speaks to day and night whispers to night, and no ear is deaf to their voice.

Let the whole creation sing to Your glory! Let the fowls of the air and the fishes of the sea, the beasts of the field and the trees of the forest cry out Your praises! Let the sea roar and the fields rejoice in Your presence! Let the mountains tremble at Your majesty and the heavens be afraid under Your dominion!

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Lessons from the Thanksgiving Pilgrims

There is no question about it—Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, bar none.

The mere word warms my heart and causes my mind to click through the memories of Novembers long past. It conjures up images of family and dear friends—some now departed— gathered around a bountiful table; of special services at church and shortened weeks of school; of singing grand old hymns which we re-learn usually just once every year; and, most importantly, of giving thanks to God for bringing us safely through another season of life.

Thanksgiving is almost the only holiday which has yet to be hi-jacked by secular or commercial forces. Think of it—the closest that retailers get to this celebration is speaking of the day which follows it, or perhaps dressing in supposed 17th century garb to film silly commercials.

Thanksgiving has also not really been corrupted by worldliness. Few seem to talk about getting drunk for Thanksgiving Day or staying out all night beforehand.

Somehow Thanksgiving—both the day and the action—seems to have a calming effect within our souls. Celebrating it helps us draw a mental line between the cares of the old year and the onset of the new one, while preparing us to remember the birth of Christ in the meantime.

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EYXAPIΣTΩMEN: Let Us Give Thanks

In The Nick of Time
O Father of lights, with Whom is neither variableness nor shadow of turning, from Your hand receive we every gift, each one good and perfect. Naught have we of our own; nothing do we possess that we were not given. Our open hands know not for what they grasp, but discover themselves filled with goodness and blessing from Your bounty.

You are life; You have life in Yourself; You are the source of all living. Our being, frail and small, races ever toward dissolution. Our little existences, propped up moment-by-moment from without, depend incessantly upon You. Ceaselessly Your life-gift pours into us, else we would straight away unform, undo, and unbe. Without life from Your Life, we could neither stand, nor sense, nor say, nor even sin. Your Life is the light that ignites our own tiny sparks.

Made like beasts as to our bodies, we share their need for breath. Athirst, we cannot even weep without water. Hungered, we cannot thrive without food. Naked, we cannot abide without cover. Weary, we cannot mend without rest. Your eye, which sees the sparrow’s plight, perceives our want. Your bounty, which clothes the lilies, attends to our lack. From Your good hand receive we bread and breath, hearth and health.

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Now Thank We All Our God

by Brian McCrorie

To All Ye Pilgrims: Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us thank_you.jpgfrom pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

It’s been 383 years since Governor William Bradford called the Pilgrims to the first Thanksgiving celebration in the New World. 156 years later, after a long, hard war for independence, our first President, George Washington, called the United States of America to a day of thanksgiving:

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