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Good morning and happy Thanksgiving.

. We talk a lot in our prayers and texts today about words like bounty and harvest and fruits. And our Gospel is about bread sounds about right for today, doesnt it? Lots of food images. The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Sir, give us this bread always. This answer struck me as I thought about these texts for today. We are meant to be thankful on this day for all the blessings of this life. For the food we share, and the people we share it with whether that be at your house, or a family members house at Walnut Street Supper Club or at William Way. These moments of warmth and comfort are moments of blessing satisfying not only our physical needs but also calling us back to awareness of how important our communities are family, friends, church. Even if these relationships arent always easyeven if this day is a less than joyful one for you For others this is a joyful day when there is something special that happens a moment in time that feels unique but then as soon as weve found itfelt itit slips through our fingers We are unable to hold it.

Its not often enough in our life together as Church that we stop together and thank God specifically for the gifts of the earth. Its not often enough that we talk about our stewardship of this bounty of the goods the fruits of the earth. And so on a day like this when we are thankful for our own blessings it is good for us to be reminded that we are also stewards of this bounty. That we play an active part in Gods blessings. We all of us are stewards of the gifts of the earth. And so God calls us to think about how we share food and water and resources with our neighbors all over the world. And especially here in Philadelphia where one in four children go to bed hungry every night. As Christians, we are called to address this need to work with organizations like MANNA and Philabundance to help serve food at places like Broad Street to feed and care for our neighbors. To see to it that those around us are able to enjoy Gods blessings, too. Butthis is only part of it. There are also spiritual implications to these words. Because the practical and the spiritual are always connected. Make us faithful stewards, we prayed, of your great bounty. This bounty is not only the concrete the distribution of resources but for us as Christians this bounty is primarily located in Christs love for us.

This love promises us that we are always surrounded on all sides by Gods blessings by the presence of the Holy Spirit that seeks to fill our lives with joy. It is this love that promises us that there is a light that shines in the darkness and that the darkness will not overcome it. It is this love that promises us that we are never alone. That we are always beloved. And there is always enough for all of us more than enough. We can never use up this bountiful gift. And so we are called to be good stewards of this gift of this love to share it, to call others to awareness of it and belief in it. As good stewards of this bounty we must be Gods witnesses in the world Christs hands and feet that serve our neighbor and Christs heart, too That loves and cherishes each person calling them to a new and greater understanding of Gods love and purpose for them through our own love for them through our own good work. One final note to circle round to where we started. We often refer to the Eucharist as the Great Thanksgiving and its a Thanksgiving we have each week around this table around Gods table. And as we gather, we receive something truly precious. Its the bread we hear about in Johns Gospel. We believe that there is something special about this breadthat it transforms usthat it binds us up -- all of us into the one Body of Christ.

We believe that as we come to this table and share in this bread we are transformedmore and more It is Christ who transforms us through this bread through our willingness to come to the tableand this can never slip through our fingers. Our identity as people of God and Gods great love for us theres nothing we can do to separate ourselves from that. And so when we are intentional about living into it it brings forth the harvest of righteousness in us. Giving us the tools and the strength and the will to be good stewards to call others to share in the mystery and wonder of this table And to share more freely that which God has given to us. You, when you are transformed when you are a good steward when you are a faithful part of the Body you and the good work that you do are the harvest of righteousness. Planted by the love of Christ and nurtured through the Church by this bread. What you do and how you show the world the love of Jesus Christ becomes a part of the harvest a part of the bounty of God. So this day as you go back to the places from which you come to gather, or to rest, to celebrate, or to miss someone I pray that God will magnify in you this request: Sir, give us this bread always. For it is the true bread of life. Amen.