As I'm finalizing details for worship tomorrow (in my head) I wonder what people will remember from their experience at church tomorrow.
While the rest of the church world (or most of it) celebrates Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the church year, the congregation I serve will be having it's annual Thankoffering Service. The date for this service was set before I got here....and it it always Christ the King Sunday because it is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So tomorrow's service, as last year, and the year before and the year before that and the...(you get the idea) will be a balance of Thankoffering and Thanksgiving.
The time for the children's message will be used by the Sunday School youth as they reenact the events leading up to and including the first Thanksgiving. We have 4 scenes, pilgrims, indians (so it says in the script) the mayflower and a paper mache turkey. As this skit slowly became a bigger production, folks said, oh pastor, you can just shorten your sermon.
The gospel for the Thankoffering service is from John and contains Jesus saying, "I am the bread of life." Who knows how long the sermon will go, but it will give me the opportunity to talk about the tables we gather around in our homes for Thanksgiving as well as the table we gather around in the sanctuary. Hopefully it will offer people the opportunity to reflect upon the fellowship around the Lord's Table because the meal is Jesus Christ.
We do not celebrate communion weekly, just the first and third Sundays of the month. So we will celebrate the Lord's Supper tomorrow, for which I'm thankful.
Following worship, we will head down to the fellowship hall for a turkey dinner. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, salads and desserts. Which may lead all of us to sleep through the Pats/Colts game....although I think not!
Will people remember the children's production? the sermon? the meal? the second meal? does it matter? Perhaps I'm getting too caught up in what I think is important. I just think there is a fine line between church as church and church as social club/entertainment. The gathering we do in the sanctuary and the meal that we have in that place strengthens us for service to our neighbors, not just for our own personal enjoyment. Not that we shouldn't enjoy worship, but there is more to it than that. It's Christ meeting us at the cross, it's God come down to us, is Jesus as our bread and wine, uniting us as sisters and brothers for service to others....
Sorry if this is a bit preachy, I guess I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the whirlwind that tomorrow will be. I'm letting it go to you, dear readers, and to God....no matter what happens, even if the Mayflower runs into the pews, God will be there...speaking to and feeding each and every one of us...and for that, I give thanks.
Thanks for reading....until next time...