I cannot remember when I first learned the meaning of the Greek word eucharistia, but I do remember the impact learning the nuance of the word had on my understanding of what it means to give thanks. Eucharistia means to give thanks for a gift given freely whether or not the giver has an obligation to give a gift or the recipient has done anything that merits receiving a gift. I think that the best English translation is ’windfall’, something that comes to us without any effort on our part.
Some Christian teachers have stressed that the core value of Christian discipleship is a life lived in constant eucharistia, constant awareness of the giftedness of every moment of our lives. For me the last four and a half years, even at the lowest moments in the pandemic, have been filled with gratitude for the privilege of being the Vicar of Holy Trinity Cathedral. I have told friends and colleagues that even the most difficult days at HTC have been, for me, good days.
The stewardship of our time, our talent and our treasure is built on our sense of gratitude for what God has given to us – family, friends, meaningful work, a sense of purpose in our lives. I believe that we have so much to be grateful for here at HTC, even as we face the challenges of preparing for the next chapter in our life as a community of help, hope and home in downtown New Westminster.
Let us be grateful for the time God has given us to enjoy the beauty of creation and the wonder of love. Let us be grateful for the talents God has given us to be co-workers with God in the renewal of creation and the stewardship of its resources. Let us be grateful for the treasure God has given us to use wisely to empower the ministries that allow us to embody the life of Christ within us.
Soon the lights of Christmas will shine upon us and we will be embraced by God’s incalculable love for creation made known to us in the Christ Child. May your hearts be filled not only with joy, with peace and with hope but with a deeply-rooted gratitude for all that God has done, is doing and will do for us and for all. May that thanksgiving fuel the decisions you make in the coming year about how you use your time, your talent and your treasure.
In Holy Trinity Cathedral’s network of service, worship, evangelism, education and pastoral care, there are many reasons to be thankful. God calls us all to find ways for our gratitude to be put to use in God’s mission. O be joyful in the Lord and enter into God’s courts with thanksgiving.
Vicar of Holy Trinity Cathedral