Oak Forest United Methodist Church
Saturday, November 17, 2018
To Know Christ, To Grow in Christ, To Share Christ

Pastor's Message

November 2018
Thanksgiving
    
     During the month of November we tend to focus on gratitude. In fact, we have an entire holiday associated with gratitude. The picture that we are taught is one of a happy multicultural family (American Indians and European Caucasians) sharing what they have with one another over a common table. Over the years, people have begun to question the truthfulness of that historical event. Especially in light of the terrible things European explorers and settlers afflicted on the American Indians of various tribes across, what would become, the United States. While that is something we certainly need to wrestle
with, let’s go back to that image for a second… the picture of different people with different languages, different world views, and different resources sharing one meal together is one of the hallmarks of the American story.
     The reality is that that image is not only a hallmark of the American story; it is the vision of God’s kingdom. If you read along or listen closely to The Great Thanksgiving you will hear this prayer spoken:
     “Pour out your Holy Spirit here and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. But your Spirit makes us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.”
     Every time we commune with one another at the Lord’s Supper, we are praying that God will make us one, that God will bring us to the banquet table of God to share with all people. Roman Catholics call the service “Mass”, Anglicans and Episcopalians call it “The Eucharist” but it all means the same thing in different languages: Thanksgiving. The source of our gratitude comes from Jesus who gives and gives and gives without counting the cost. Thanksgiving means that we are loved, adored by God, forgiven, and made new by our creator who at the end of day is drawing us all to a family dinner table to a huge feast where there is always enough and where all are welcome. This Thanksgiving ponder the table of the Lord’s grace and how we can invite and welcome all people to come along with us on the journey of faith.