Sustained and Connected by the Body of Christ

Homily, Sustained and Connected by the Body of Christ
Thanksgiving, Year C, 2022
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
Tequesta, FL

The Rev. Derek M Larson, TSSF

Today’s Lectionary Readings:

Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Psalm 100
Philippians 4:4-9
John 6:25-35

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so grateful to be with you here this morning as we express our gratitude together in prayer.

And after seeing all those pies this morning after the run, I am also looking forward to eating lots of good food later! 

Oh, I LOVE Thanksgiving. A holiday for giving thanks and eating good food.

Have you ever noticed how shaped our language is by food?

For example, let’s play a game. I’ll start a sentence or phrase and you finish it. Ready?

  1. That’s just the way the cookie _________.
  2. The best thing since sliced _________.
  3. Wake up and smell the ________.
  4. That was easy! It was is a piece of ________. 
  5. Keep this a secret. Don’t spill the ________.
  6. Don’t cry over spilt _______. 
  7. She was as cool as a __________.
  8. The class really gave us some food for _______. 

(Answers at the bottom)

We sure do love to use food to communicate, don’t we? And of course we do. Food plays such an important part in our lives!

First, food is what sustains us as human beings. We couldn’t live without food. Our bodies physically need it.

And second, food not only sustains us, but connects us. It brings us together. Today, Thanksgiving, is a reminder of that. People gather together around a table full of food. 

Food sustains us. Food connects us. 

I guess it’s only natural, then, that in our gospel passage today Jesus uses the language of food to describe himself.

“I am the bread of life,” he says, “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus is saying to us, that just we are sustained and connected by food, we are all the more sustained and connected by Christ. 

We are sustained by Christ. Scripture says that all things were made through Christ. Christ is the foundation of our physical existence. It is Christ for which we crave. It is Christ that is our beginning and end. Christ sustains our existence. 

Christ is also what connects us. Scripture says that when we feed the hungry, we feed Christ. It says that when two or three are gathered, there Christ is. Christ connects us. 

Jesus, then, the Bread of Life, is our spiritual food. 

And that is what we’re meant to remember each time we gather around this altar to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. 

Today is Thanksgiving, but you know, the word “Eucharist” literally means Thanksgiving. So every time we gather in this place around this altar, we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Just as we gather around the Thanksgiving table to share the food that sustains us and connects us, we gather here each week for the spiritual food and drink that sustains us and connects us. Just as we offer family prayers of gratitude at the Thanksgiving table, we gather here to offer prayers of gratitude at the Lord’s table.

So today, on Thanksgiving, as we celebrate the Holy Eucharist together, listen carefully. Notice the language of food we use. Notice the language of gratitude we use. Notice the Thanksgiving we celebrate at this table. And let us find ourselves sustained and connected in the Body of Christ, the Bread of Heaven, and give thanks. Amen. 

Answer key:

  1. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
  2. The best thing since sliced bread.
  3. Wake up and smell the coffee.
  4. That was easy! It was is a piece of cake. 
  5. Keep this a secret. Don’t spill the beans.
  6. Don’t cry over spilt milk. 
  7. She was as cool as a cucumber.
  8. The class really gave us some food for thought.