The readings this week presage part of Advent’s dual expectation, focusing on the “coming again” of Jesus Christ, “him who is and was and who is to come,” as envisioned in the first chapter of Revelation. John tells us that “every eye will see him” when Christ returns. What will that coming look like, and what will the kingdom that comes look like?
Jesus tells Pilate in our gospel reading from John 18 that his “kingdom is not from this world,” so we really have no frame of reference. But we can be confident that it will be the fullness of joy and the fulfillment of truth. This is the hope that we carry with us on a daily basis as we live our lives following in the way of Jesus.
Although we will not all gather together for Thanksgiving Day worship, I hope that you will take a few moments on that day, as you gather with family and friends, to acknowledge God’s provision for us. You might include this collect for Thanksgiving Day in your blessing prayer that day:
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 for ever. Amen.
The gospel lesson appointed for that day comes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. In it, he reminds us not to worry about our lives but to remember that God knows our needs and will provide for them, as he does for all his creatures. Rather, we are to “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
As you give thanks, I hope you will include thanksgiving prayers for our shared life as the Cathedral Family. In the words of the Psalmist, “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed.”
You are all in my prayers this week, asking for safe travel in your comings and goings-and that you all may feel the embrace of God’s love in your gatherings.