We will have an interfaith community service at Our Lady of Light in South Strafford on Thanksgiving morning at 10:00 AM—a wonderful, uplifting, neighborly tradition with Buddhist and Native American and other spiritual paths represented that makes the day so much more meaningful—but we start our Thanksgiving celebration this coming Sunday with a Pilgrim-descendant church service that includes old familiar scriptures and hymns: a reading from the Psalms and another from the Sermon on the Mount; “Come, Ye Faithful People Come,” “We Gather Together,” “We Plow the Fields and Scatter” (not the Godspell version—see below) and “For the Fruit of All Creation.”
It is not just Thanksgiving, though. This is one of the big Sundays in the church year, the equivalent of New Year’s Eve. Next Sunday the new year begins on the First Sunday of Advent. This week we celebrate what has been called Christ the King Sunday, or now Reign of Christ Sunday (in slightly less hierarchical and patriarchal language). We imagine and rejoice in the idea of a coming day when the work of Jesus will be done, when the realm of God will be established on earth, when human civilization will finally live justly, sustainably and at peace, with the Golden Rule, love of neighbor and compassion for all creation as shared global laws.
So this Sunday’s service will be about both gratitude and hope. The book Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone shows how gratitude is the essential first step toward hope, and how hope in a specific vision of how the world could be is the essential first step toward making that miracle happen. Tom will be talking about Active Hope throughout the coming season and suggests we all read it. You can learn more about it and order it by clicking here.
Here is one of several YouTube versions of We Plow the Fields and Scatter. On others you can watch some beautiful horses plowing fields…