October 11 – Nineteenth after Pentecost (Thanksgiving)

October 11 – Nineteenth after Pentecost (Thanksgiving)



Lectionary readings from Vanderbilt Divinity Library online



Joel 2:21–27

Do not fear, O soil, for God will provide.

Psalm 126 (VU pg. 850)

Those who sow in tears reap in joy.

1 Timothy 2:1–7

Offer prayers for everyone.

Matthew 6:25–33

Do not worry about what you will eat or drink.


Have some place where the gathered prayers become a visible part of the service: taped to the table, hanging from a line across the chancel, or a “prayer tree” with prayers clipped to branches or leaves.

With Children

Ask the children to help you pass out small sheets of coloured paper (harvest colours if you have a Thanksgiving theme, or rainbow colours if you’re focusing on M&S and stewardship during Thanksgiving), and pens, markers, or pencils. Ask the congregation, including the children, to write their prayers on their sheets of paper. The children can then help collect the prayers and hand them to the minister(s) to add to the Prayers of the People, or the Great Thanksgiving, or to be read as part of children’s time.

Sermon Starter

The texts suggested for this Thanksgiving are challenging. We must remember that there are those among us in our congregations who do worry about what to eat, who do struggle to put food on the table and clothes on their family’s backs. It is too simple to say that because Canada has a high standard of living generally, we have much to be grateful for. There are people in our families, in our churches, in our communities who feel lost, broken, alone, bankrupt, even if they don’t worry about their physical needs.

The words of 1 Timothy are comforting, then, because they remind us in a spirit of true thanksgiving that all are equal in God’s eyes, that our prayers of thanksgiving and intercession are said by all on behalf of all. Our true gratitude comes from being able to gather together through the joys and sorrows of life, in times of abundance and in times of struggle, in worship and in praise of the God of creation who holds us all in a divine embrace that will not let us go.


Hebrew Scripture

VU 326            “O for a thousand tongues to sing”


VU 166            “Joy comes with the dawn”


MV 145           “Draw the circle wide”


VU 329            “O Jesus Christ, may grateful hymns be rising”

MV 122           “This is the day”

MV 176           “Three things I promise”