The Great Thanksgiving

I was raised in (and recently returned to) the Methodist church. Methodists celebrate communion on the first Sunday of every month with an “open table”. I have always loved communion. When I was small it was primarily for the grape juice. I heart grape juice and my parents had an official ban on all red liquids in our house until I graduated college ( I kid you not!). Later of course, I started to understand that communion is a precious holy thing and is to be endeared for much more than the forbidden delicious beverages served.

The church I grew up in had a very traditional service. Every first Sunday after a slightly abbreviated sermon we would turn our hymnals to the back. The parts where the preacher would read his part and the rest of us would read the boldface sections outloud in attempted unison. The communion liturgy we read every week was entitled “ The Great Thanksgiving”. For years, I wondered what the connection was between bread and grape juice and Thanksgiving. They sure weren’t handing out turkeys up there. I was a pretty clever girl ( and still am) so I thought I had it figured it out at the ripe age of six. I assumed that communion was the first Thanksgiving. I’d seen that picture of the last supper. I wasn’t really sure where Pilgrims, funny hats and buckle shoes factored in……but that was a minor detail. Kid logic is funny.(Kind of like how Owen thought Indiana Jones was somehow related to Pilgrims and Indians that partook in the first Thanksgiving dinner and was disappointed ot learn that Mr. Jones would not be attending ours.) All it took was a few social studies lessons to throw a wrench in my explanation.

Apparently the section in my hymnal entitled “The Great Thanksgiving” and turkey and stuffing dinners aren’t really related.

But maybe I had it right back when I was four. What could we be more thankful for than what Christ did on the Cross. And what we remember at the altar.
"Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.Do this in remembrance of me."

The Great Thanksgiving: http://www.revneal.org/communionlit1.html

1 comments:

Karen said...

You definitely have a unique, quirky voice. Pursue-writing-seriously (as much as you can with kids still at home--I was a chicken or else it never occurred to me until they left).