American Thanksgiving is less than a week away and we are all looking forward to what is fondly called Turkey Day.  It is my favourite American custom which I have embraced with great enthusiasm not just because I love good food and good fellowship but because I love the opportunity to think about what I am grateful for and what I have to thank God for.  It is a custom which is not celebrated in Australia but I am sure that it will be celebrated over and over in the Kingdom of God.

Wednesday evening Tom & I will be speaking at the Thanksgiving service at St Aidans Episcopal church on Camano Island.  A couple of days ago I received a request from a friend for a thanksgiving liturgy.  Last night we celebrated a pre-thanksgiving turkey meal with students at the Purple Door.  All of these opportunities have focused my attention on the coming of thanksgiving and the fact that I have so much to be grateful for – good, health, good marriage, good community, shelter, food, a job that I enjoy – the list goes on and on.  Most of all I am grateful for the gift of Christ and all that he has meant in my life.  That is the theme that I have used in this Thanksgiving liturgy.

God we gather to thank you for the many blessings in our lives,

And to praise you for your generous goodness which is new every day,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

God to you who created the earth and the heavens,

To you who are always merciful and forgiving,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

God to you who call us into relationship with yourself,

And give us the gift of family and friends,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

(Pause to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for)

For the universe immense and unknown

For the earth on which we live

For humankind made in your image

Thanks and praise to God our creator

For entering human history as one of us

For the sacrifice you made for all of us

For dying that we might live

Thanks and praise to Christ our redeemer

For the wonder of your indwelling presence

For the comfort of your guidance and direction

For drawing us together as one body

Thanks and praise to the Holy Spirit our enabler

Through your will we are made whole,

Through your love we are renewed in body, mind and spirit

Through you we become one community from every tribe and nation.

Thanks and praise to Father, Son and Spirit through all eternity.

Psalm 92 or Psalm 105

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

1 Chronicles 16: 7 – 34

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

Colossians 1: 3-6

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 10: 21 – 24

The Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray together now in the words Jesus taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed by your name.  Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen

Gracious and generous God we give you thanks

For the gift of life for we are made in your image,

We think of all those in whom your divine image is still distorted

We pray for your mercy and love to rest upon them

God in your mercy be with them

caring and providing God we give you thanks

For our homes that shelter and protect us,

We think of those without shelter and water and protection today

We pray for your provision to be poured out upon them

God in your mercy be with them

Abundant and giving God we give you thanks

For our food that nourishes and strengthens us,

We thing of those without food and nourishment today

We pray that you will feed them with the bread of life

God in your mercy be with them

Loving and compassionate God we give you thanks

For our friends and family who love and comfort us in times of need

We think of those who are alone and feel abandoned

God comfort and surround them that they may sense your presence

God in your be with them

Gracious and generous God

We remember all the gifts you have given us,

We remember how lavishly you have provided,

We remember how lovingly you have cared,

We remember especially that greatest gift of all,

Jesus Christ our Saviour,

And we give you thanks.

Amen

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