Each year, on this particular Thursday in November, the people of our country 'celebrate' Thanksgiving.
Yes, we still give the day the honor of a "capital T", indicating that it's something Holy. Unfortunately the day, like most things that start out having a sacred focus, has become more about gluttony, a day off the job, football, or sleeping in advance of staying awake all night for Black Friday sales than it is about prayerful thanks to God for the benefits and bounties He has bestowed upon us.
The psalmist long ago wrote, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever." I'd give the reference to the Psalm, but there's not only one. These words are contained in Psalms 106, 107, 118 and 136. Based on their repetition, you might conclude that this phrase is fairly important.
When we look at the issue of thanks, we should do so through the lens of our Lord's own words, through the inclusion of the issue of thankfulness within His life and ministry. In Matthew 15:36, we find the Lord giving thanks over the loaves and fish before He feeds the four thousand. In Matthew 26:27 we find Jesus again giving thanks as He instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper. In Luke 17 we find the Lord healing the ten lepers, and when He questions, "Where are the (other) nine?", indicating to us how important it is to give thanks to God.
All of these instances notwithstanding, we need to look at the ending phrase from the psalmist above. Why should we give thanks? "For His mercy endures forever." While the entire phrase is repeated in the aforementioned four Psalms, this one phrase is repeated 26 times in Psalm 136 - once in each verse of the Psalm.
On this day, a government once supportive of Judeo-Christian worship and values still declares it proper for us to take the time to give thanks to God. But for us as Orthodox Christians, we recognize that this act of giving thanks is not a one-day-per-year event. It is not a daily act. It is a portion of our "prayer without ceasing". (1Thes 5:17) And the thanks that we give, in very great proportion, is specifically because "His mercy endures forever." Without our Lord continuing to show us His mercy, what would we have to be thankful for? What possible benefits would we find in our lives, separated from His mercy?
On this day, we must remember to give thanks, just as we do on every day - "for His mercy endures forever!"
Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio
This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!
The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.
We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!
Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM
We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible! We are open, and we welcome inside the Church all visitors. See our Parish web page: