Thankful for

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

To all our members, parishioners, benefactors, friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters in Christ, and all who dwell with us in our land,

On behalf of our Parish Committee and myself, I pray that your Thanksgiving celebration is filled with great joy, togetherness, and time to reflect on the many blessings we share in. May your day and travels be safe.

We are so thankful for each of you, for your fellowship enriches each of us. Our mutual work for the kingdom becomes an occasion for rejoicing because of you. You are in our prayers of thanksgiving this day and every day.

As we reflect today, we recount these many blessings received, in material things, but most importantly in the gift of true fellowship and freedom found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All thanksgiving and praise be His.

— Deacon Jim

Reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

We thank You Lord.
…and anticipate Your coming.

“‘And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds'”

It is the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and our readings focus on the end times, the second coming of Jesus. It can seem like a scary and even depressing subject when we want to focus on celebrating.

When we hear Jesus speak of these images of darkness, falling stars, and the heavens being shaken we are shaken. Daniel reminds us that these will be times of “surpassing distress.

We grow a little frightened, what if Jesus were really to come tomorrow, or in the next hour, or minute? We certainly may consider ourselves unprepared.

Maybe we are prepared for Thanksgiving. The turkey is purchased, the potatoes, yams, vegetables, those special items unique to our family traditions are stored away. But are we prepared to meet Jesus when He returns?

As we approach Thanksgiving, let’s prepare ourselves; fill ourselves with a spirit of thankfulness. Let that thankfulness include a sense of praise and anticipation for Jesus’ coming.

Whatever the events that will precede the glorious appearance of Jesus with the angelic cohort, we should gladly celebrate Jesus’ promise and be thankful for it. We know that when He comes we will be ready to be drawn to His side.

We are the people Daniel speaks of because of our faith in Jesus. “The wise who shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, those who lead the many to justice who shall be like the stars forever.

Like the psalmist, we can declare that the Lord is our inheritance. What a wonderful thing to be thankful for, an inheritance with God forever in His kingdom.

As we pray this Thanksgiving let us set aside our concern over the events of the end times. Any fantastic theories and predictions about the end of the world and return of Christ are worthless. Instead, praise God and be thankful for the spirit of renewal, which prepares us for Jesus. Pray Maranatha – a word meaning, “Come, O Lord.” This prayer asks for the speedy and early return of Christ.

Build desire and thankfulness for the Second Coming. This is our preparation. To live in the hope that strengthens and fortifies us seeking always to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service

The North Colonie Ecumenical Group is holding its annual Thanksgiving prayer service on Sunday, November 20, 3 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church, 15 Ridge Place, Latham, NY. Those who wish to participate in the joint choir are asked to join the rehearsal that day at 1 p.m. The service will include a collection of canned goods and money for the Northeastern Regional Food Bank.