Most people who have spoken to me at any length about this whole faith business know that I'm a sucker for liminal spaces. These in-between, often ambiguous, moments in our shared life invite us to live deeper into the Christian mystery. In fact, this week is a prime example of the possibility they offer us. Western Christianity commemorates last Sunday as the final one of Pentecost and the end of the Church year, since this coming Sunday, the first of Advent, starts the entire cycle over again. In the meantime, the uniquely Anglican tradition of blending the national and the ecclesial means that we Episcopalians celebrate Thanksgiving as a holy day-there's even a collect for it in the prayer book
(BCP, 246):
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Whatever you may feel about the origins of Thanksgiving, there is something good and right and, yes, even joyful about the space between ending and beginning being bridged by thanks. Just as this Thursday is a chance to pause, to set aside life as normal to share time and food with those we love, notice how this in-between moment can help us connect with the greater movements of God's grace. Amid this holiday week, try to make the most of the chance to recognize and offer an alleluia for the great bounties of creation and community in your life. After all, we know that our Lord and Savior returns to us again and again, often in the most unexpected ways and places.
-Joseph Wood