The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer

Introduction to the readings for Thanksgiving Sunday, the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, October 12, 2014

In honour of our celebration of Thanksgiving this morning, we move away from the stories of our faith ancestors, the ancient Israelites, taken from the books of Exodus and Genesis, moving for today, to the book of Deuteronomy.

Biblical scholars believe that the book of Deuteronomy takes its impetus from the contents of a scroll found at the site of the Jerusalem Temple as it was being rebuilt some 600 years before Jesus walked the earth.  

The setting for the book’s contents is a re-telling or a sermon, if you will, of God’s instructions to the people and their leader, Moses, gathered on the Plain of Moab. 

Having now completed their journey to freedom in the wilderness, they are literally poised for their entry into the Promised Land, the Land of milk and honey. 

God’s three fold message to the ancient Israelites offered through the voice of Moses is this:

  • to celebrate and give thanks for the richness of the land to provide food and natural resources
  • to be conscious that these gifts that come from God
  • to share the blessing of God’s bountiful Creation with reverence and respect for all

Listen with care as the reading offers a review of a wandering people’s experience in the wilderness and the culmination of that journey.  Be mindful of how the reading speaks to your hearts and your imaginations also as a wandering community coming out of a wilderness journey poised on the cusp of a new day, a day for celebration and thanksgiving:

From the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8: 7-18

                      “God will bring you to a bountiful land”