Thanksgiving 2009 Homily

Pastor M. Beecroft, 11/24/2009

Thanksgiving in the Church is also all about the food, albeit a heavenly food. It is the Eucharist, which comes from the Greek for “thanks.” God’s spread, His Eucharistic feast, is a little white wafer and common wine. Can you imagine your shock and disappointment if someone served you a Thanksgiving dinner of only some tasteless discs of bread and a shot of cream sherry? How many of you would stick around for the reception tonight if Lisa served rolls of white wafers and some wine you would never serve at your own table? Yet faith informs us that the finest feast we eat this side of eternity consists of such bread and wine. Of course it is not mere bread and wine, but sanctified by the Word of God it becomes the Holy Body and Holy Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the mystery of faith, our Risen Lord’s body, broken on the cross, fills our bellies with His salvation; and our Risen Lord’s blood, poured out on the wooden beams and soil of Calvary, quenches our thirst with His forgiveness. Our Confessions, speaking to this mystery, state, “in the Lord’s Supper the body and blood of Christ are truly and substantially present and are truly offered with those things that are seen, bread and wine. Moreover, we are talking about the presence of the living Christ, for we know that death no longer has dominion over him (Rom. 6:9).” This confession of faith is a scandal to the modern, rational, spiritually blind person. The notion that we kneel at this rail, believing our Redeemer is present for us in bread and wine, effecting forgiveness and salvation for us, is a stumbling block for many, but we must thank God for it.

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