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From Our Seminary Intern . . .

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“The Eucharist and the Thanksgiving Holiday”

 

I had been taking the Eucharist, or communion, for a long time before I learned what the word eucharist actually means. It means “thanksgiving” in Greek. Thus, our Thanksgiving holiday and the Eucharist share a common focus. This got me thinking: how can we incorporate something like the Eucharist or aspects of it into our own Thanksgiving holidays?

 

I’m not sure I have any one-size-fits-all answer on how to do this; this may well look different for each family that does it. An obvious way to do this is simply set aside some bread and juice to take with our Thanksgiving meal. Of course, if we do this, we will need to do it in a way that’s sensitive to the fact that some (or many) at our table do not share our faith. Moreover, incorporating bread and juice into our Thanksgiving holiday meal wouldn’t technically be communion or the Eucharist.

 

In United Methodism, we need an ordained minister to consecrate the elements for that to happen. Nevertheless, sometime during the Thanksgiving holiday, we can still eat the bread and drink from the cup, or we can intentionally set aside time to thank God, or there might be some other practice you can think of that works best for you. (And if you can do these things with fellow Christians, that’s definitely preferable.)

 

When we do this, we can thank God for the gifts of creation as well as the gift of God’s Son, remembering Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection for the sake of us and our world.

 

–Michael Chesnut, Ministerial Intern


 

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400 W. Duarte Rd Arcadia, CA 91007      [email protected]      (626) 447-2181
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