As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we pause to give thanks for the good work of our congregation. We may feel the joyful anticipation of gathering with friends or family this week. We may also feel anxious or alone. We may not understand what is happening in the world, or even with our neighbors. Sometimes we struggle to feel grateful.
But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude. We are grateful for the work of our congregation and the caring love we share in relationship with each other. We choose to accept life as a gift from God, from the unfolding work of all creation. We choose to be grateful for the earth from which our food comes; for the water that sustains us; and for the air we breathe.
We choose to see our ancestors, those who came before us, and their stories, as a continuing gift of wisdom for us today. We choose to see our families and friends with new eyes, appreciating them for who they are, thankful for our homes whether humble or grand. We will be grateful for our neighbors and strive to love them as we love ourselves. We choose to see the whole planet as our shared commons, the stage of the future of humankind and creation.
God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it. These words, inspired by a Thanksgiving prayer by author Diana Butler Bass, ask us to strengthen our resolve and pledge to give thanks.
As we approach Advent and invite each of you to engage in the wonderful activities planned for our church, we recognize we are collectively the church and give thanks with courageous hearts. We all are guests at God’s hospitable table around which gifts are passed and received. Love rules this table and is inviting and accepting of any who seek it. We choose to open our eyes to see grace and the gifts of life everywhere and serve alongside each other in love. In this choosing, we will share gratitude in the world, in our lives, and in the life of our church.
Blessings to you this Thanksgiving holiday!
Your Church Family