If there is one secular holiday that Christians can totally sign up for, it is Thanksgiving Day. One of the most important things we do in our Christian life is give thanks to God, and give thanks to each other.
We do it first of all during the Liturgy. In fact, one of the names for Liturgy is Eucharist. Which comes from a Greek word that means thanksgiving.
We don’t have to wait for one special day in the year to give thanks. We do it every day. But to have one day as a reminder that all things belong to God, and give thanks to Him, isn’t a bad idea.
Below is a sermon that was delivered by the late Father Alexander Schmemann, who did a lot in terms of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ on American soil.
He died in December 1983 from cancer. The last Liturgy he celebrated was on Thanksgiving Day that same year. And this was his last sermon. It’s in the form of a prayer, a thanksgiving prayer of a man, who knew his journey on this earth was coming to an end.
The sermon was edited slightly for the use in our parish, where Father Aleksey reads it every year the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day.
Here are the words of Father Alexander Schmemann:
Sunday sermon on the Gospel lesson taken from Luke 16:19-31
The parable of Lazarus and the rich man
In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The parable of Lazarus and the rich man on its surface seems to be about what happens after we die, about heaven and hell, about the future life. The bad, rich man is tormented in hell, while the poor Lazarus is comforted in Paradise next to Abraham.
Unless otherwise specified, the articles here are posted by Father Aleksey, who has no sense of humor and is extremely straight forward.