Early last month my sister-in-law sent pictures of the snow that had fallen in South Dakota. I didn’t even want to look at it! I am so happy to live in this beautiful weather place. Here the little bit of color and crispness of autumn do not mean the bleakness and cold of snow and winter are coming. A change of the season is not a weather-related event in southern California…at least not like it is in the Midwest. But we do note a seasonal change. On the Christian calendar November marks the end of the liturgical year. We start the month with the Commemoration of All Saints and end with the Feast of Christ the King.
The secular calendar gives us a day at the end of November for Thanksgiving and we must confess that the focus of that day is only food and football. But the church calendar gives us Thanksgiving every Sunday. The word EUCHARIST is Greek for thanksgiving. Every time we gather around the altar for Holy Communion we pray the Great Thanksgiving and do what Jesus asked us to do…remember and give thanks.
Recently a child asked me about saying “Amen” at the reception of Holy Communion. As I explained the meaning of this Hebrew word as an assent of faith she got more interested. She ended up trying to come up with other ways to make that affirmation of faith. “So be it,” “I agree,” “I believe.” Our Confirmation camp theme this past summer was All In. That is another phrase this child decided was more meaningful than a simple Amen. Don’t be surprised if you hear “I’m in” from the young person standing near you as they reach out their hands to receive Holy Communion.
“For all that has been, THANKS! For all that will be, YES!” Dag Hammarskjold wrote those few words that can be a great prayer for the month of November. I give thanks to God for you and the ministry that we share together at St. Peter’s by the Sea.