I went to the LCMS’s Thanksgiving service this morning.
A. The pastor gave the children’s message. He asked the children if they knew what pilgrim means. A pilgrim is someone who goes from one place to another. That was what the pilgrims did: they left England and eventually came to America.
In America, the pilgrims struggled with the winter. They did not have to worry about winter when they lived in the cities of England, he said, but they did in America, and many did not survive. Native Americans introduced them to corn.
When I came home and read about Native Americans mourning Thanksgiving, I looked for articles that convey an anti-Thanksgiving perspective. I found this one. It raises the question in my mind of how Christians, inhabited by God’s Holy Spirit, could treat people that way, assuming the details of that article are true.
B. The pastor’s sermon was about Christians bearing witness on Thanksgiving. He started by talking about the Common Prayer, which Lutherans apparently pray on Thanksgiving. It is a common Lutheran custom, but non-Lutherans are unfamiliar with the prayer. And, for that matter, he said, the prayer itself has so many versions!
The pastor asked why we did not immediately go to heaven after our baptism. The answer, he said, is that God wants Christians to bear witness to the world on earth.