Each year on the 4th Thursday of November, we are asked, as loyal, faithful Americans, to give thanks for all the blessings of this life. However, we live in strange times, where many of our fellow citizens are not thankful. In fact, they are the opposite, attacking our institutions, our history, our freedoms and our faith. How do we, as people of faith, respond to these strange times? We need to focus our faith in God rather than the people, places and things of this world. Because when our leaders, our countries and our cars fail us, and they will, God will not fail. He will be there for us.
At first glance, the Gospel reading for Thanksgiving, Matthew 6:25-34, is not an easy one to digest (no pun intended). The conflict between earthly worries and faith presented in St. Matthew’s Gospel hits close to home for many of us. Life can become a “What If” list of worries about mortgage payments, school tuition, car repair bills, etc. What will happen if I get sick and can’t work? What if I lose my job? It is very easy to get wrapped up in these things. Jesus’ response to these worries is, “"Do not worry about tomorrow. Because tomorrow will worry about itself.” Worry only makes things appear worse. Trust in Jesus and receive the hope of peace.
The overarching theme here is strength in faith. Keep the faith, trust in the Gospel, avoid the distractions of this world, and you will gain the strength to endure whatever comes your way – good or bad.
This Gospel passage is directed “in house” if you will – to the believers rather than the unconverted. Matthew is warning us of the deception of the cares of this world. And this concern is summed up perfectly by Jesus when He tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In that seeking we are not running from reality, but we are facing it head-on. We can face both good news and bad, even the fact of our own mortality, with a bravery unknown except through faith.
In his Epistle to the Galatians, St. Paul put forth his thoughts on faith vis a vis the cares of the world when he wrote ; “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”
This is a message of hope. St. Paul’s True Faith – the marks of the Lord Jesus – will not be distracted or distorted by the whims of Men. If you do the same, Christ will be with your Spirit and all the worries of the world with fall away.
This is exactly what Jesus is telling his flock. That our relationship with God is eternal. All the worries of this world will wash away.
God does not promise to give you what you want, but it is quite clear in the today’s Gospel that He will give you what you NEED.
Forever and ever, AMEN.
--Fr. Deacon Chris
REMEMBER THE WORDS OF THE LORD JESUS, HOW HE SAID, IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE
Please click here to help St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland. Your support is needed and greatly appreciated.
Sunday Services, 7:45, 9:00 & 11:15 AM nursery care provided during 9 & 11:15 AM services (for online participation for the services go to: https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/ )
Sunday, 10:30 AM, Sunday School
Monday, November 28, 7:30 PM, Vestry Meeting
Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion and anointing for healing
Wednesday, November 30, 7:00 PM, St. Andrew's Day -- Kirkin of the Tartans with bagpiper and Scottish music followed by festive reception with Scottish foods and beverages. Please invite relatives, friends, and neighbors
Saturday, December 10, 8:30 AM, Men's Group, Breakfast & Bible Study, come enjoy a great breakfast, fellowship, and an interesting and thought provoking Bible study
Donations to the Food Bank and Marih Center are greatly needed. Across the country, crisis pregnancy centers have been attacked or vandalized. The needs are great. Please help with either a goods donation or a monetary donation. You can give through the donation button in this newsletter and use the drop down menu to choose "Charity & Mercy." Thank you.
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar). Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar
Updated List of Needs for MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center)
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need. If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)
Baby wipes (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 1, 4, 5, & 6)
Diaper rash ointment
Clothing for boys and girls (0-6 months)
Sleep Sacks: Girls 0-6 mos.
Socks: Boy/Girl 2T
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Our mailing address is:
St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
1607 Dewitt Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301-1625