This weekend is the last Sunday in the church year. The theme for the divine services will be “Keep Awake.”

The epistle lesson includes these verses “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” — Jude 1:24-25

The Gospel lesson includes these verses “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven … Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.” — Mark 13:26-27, 31-33

Jesus promises eternal life to all who believe in him. By his crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension, he is the once-for-all, completed sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Through faith in him, we have the sure hope of the resurrection of our bodies on the last day, when he returns in glory. His saints will then dwell with him forever in paradise.

Also, National Thanksgiving Day is Thursday. This has always been a time of thanksgiving to God for our homes, churches and nation. U.S. citizens will attend special church celebrations, enjoy special family feasts and watch special football games on TV.

One of the Scripture texts for Thanksgiving festivals is Deuteronomy 8, including the excerpted words “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees …

“Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase, and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God …

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth and so confirm his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today …”

Let us pray after our Thanksgiving meals next week, “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good and his mercy endures forever. Amen.”

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