As the grow-ups gathered in various rooms my sister and I created with the help of our friends a replica of the first Thanksgiving out of play dough. That night when we came to the table someone asked my sister to say the grace. It was a simple enough request and Bridget was not shy when she was asked to pray out loud. This is what happened…Bridget began with the pilgrims, continued with the Native Americans and included all of the historical stories she had learned in school. Everyone began to fidget at the table, as there seemed to be no stopping of this third grader “giving thanks for all of thy benefits…”
Bridget opened the door that Thanksgiving to a prayer that was heartfelt, sincere, and in recognition of the largeness of our history. Her prayer was a story that began with thanking God for our history and ended with thanking God for the present day.
On the Feast of Christ the King liturgy we are invited to hear the stories of prophets and gospel writers who focus us toward the waiting for the Holy One whose kingdom is not of this world, yet oddly enough it is through the here and now that we meet Christ the King! Like Bridget’s prayer of gratitude which took in the actions of the past, that brought us to that Thanksgiving grace, we too in today’s Eucharist gain strength and perspective by looking not only at the stories in the bible, but also at the stories of people who have brought us to today.
As we move forward from the Feast Day of Christ the King to Advent how shall our actions bring forth the kingdom of Christ the King?
Do we follow the ads in the newspapers and on the television that seek to guide how we might move forward into celebrating this Season of Waiting and Promise? Or shall we move into this Season of Advent giving voice to this season of waiting by being more present to the people in our lives than the media? Might we move into this season by reflecting with gratitude on the kingdom to which we are called to live daily?
How might our lives be different if we entered each day of this unfolding kingdom with thanksgiving, trusting that gratitude can give light to the kingdom that is at hand?