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Thinking the Faith, Praying the Faith, Living the Faith is written by the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship.

Thinking, praying, and living the faith is at the core of ministry in the Office of Theology and Worship. In the following videos, learn more about what thinking, praying, and living the faith means to the leadership of the Office of Theology and Worship. Discover why it matters and what difference it makes in our lives, work, and worship.  

Charles Wiley  
Barry Ensign-George
David Gambrell
Christine Hong 
Karen Russell
Teresa Stricklen  

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November 30, 2012

Sacramental Time

This time of year is interesting sacramentally.   It is at this time of year that Thanksgiving, Christ the King Sunday, and the first Sunday of Advent all fall together within just a few days.

The great thanksgiving feast, which we celebrate as Eucharist, moves into our homes as an annual national holiday.  Of course, we know its ecclesial origins.   The Feast of Tabernacles was originally a harvest festival that reminded the people of God that we are pilgrims to a Promised Land enjoying fellowship with the Holy One.   Eucharist is a proleptic celebration of the Great Harvest on the Day of the Lord when we will feast at the banquet of God’s New Age begun in Christ.  It is for the people of God on The Way.  Eucharist is hosted by Christ, Ruler over heaven and earth. 

Christ the King Sunday is the culmination of the church year, drawing all of time into his reign.  Celebrating the lordship of Christ over all of creation, it hearkens back to themes highlighted during Christ’s transfiguration, resurrection, and ascension at the same time that it serves as a doorway into Advent in which we look forward to Christ’s coming to reign in full glory. 

Christ’s reign is the key to all of these celebrations.  God’s Sovereign Rule is what we are baptized into, having renounced our allegiance to the dominion of this world and having been adhered unto Christ’s Rule.  We are thus baptized into Eucharist and come to the table with thanksgiving for Christ’s rule begun with the resurrection.  It is this Rule to which all time and history is moving.  But it is incomplete.  Now we see and know in part; then, face to face.  So we continue to pray, “Come, Lord Jesus” as we await his advent among us again, as before.

It’s a complicated time, a time of deep mystery as all of life is gathered in and prepares to live in the cold reality that we’re not there yet, pilgrims.  So we continue to watch and pray.  

Tags: advent, christ the king, eucharist, feast of tabernacles, great thanksgiving, harvest, thanksgiving


  1. Walter, It is odd for the reasons you cite. However, the Pius' reasons for establishing it are quite powerful. I think of it as the liturgical equivalent of Barmen. Charles

    by Charles A Wiley III

    November 30, 2012

  2. I find it rather ironic how Presbyterians and some other mainline Protestants observe "Christ the King" Sunday. It is a rather late "feast day," having been established by a 20th century Pope (Pius XI), in 1925. While many of the "seasons" of the church year are a rather dubious thing for Reformed Protestants, it seems to me that this late edition to the church caldendar is perhaps the most dubious.

    by Walter L. Taylor

    November 30, 2012

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