No matter which group you are in I pray you remember that you are all members of the group known as God’s children and for that you should be eternally grateful.
Be grateful for the ones God has gifted and blessed to cook. Be grateful for the ones God has blessed with the ability to draw us into conversations and games. Be grateful if the meal turns out perfectly. Be grateful if it is an epic fail. Gratitude is not contingent upon the outcome of the situation. Gratitude is the fuel that gets us through every situation.
So in everything, not because of everything, in everything, give thanks!
And as you give thanks, lift in prayer all of those in the armed forces who will be separated from their families this Thanksgiving. Give thanks for those who will be working to staff the hospitals and patrol the neighborhoods, while their families are at home eating without them. Give thanks for the EMTs and Firefighters who are at the ready to respond to our emergencies instead of spending the holiday with their families. Give thanks to the truckers who have delivered the food to the stores that we might purchase it, who are on their way home or to their next destination. Give thanks for the farmers who have labored long and hard, tilling soil, and feeding livestock, rising earlier than dawn, that we might sit at tables overflowing with food. Give thanks for the persons who sit at your table, whether they brought a dish or just a fork. Give thanks that God, who sits high and looks low, has kept us yet one more day.
As you express thanks with heartfelt sincerity, please pause in silent reflection and prayer for the tables that hold empty spaces of loved ones who are no longer with us. Pause in prayerful reflection for mothers and fathers who are separated from their children by bars, borders, or burdens. Pause in prayerful petition for those who have been excluded from the table. Pause in quiet prayer to lift before God those whom we had the opportunity to invite, but did not. Lord in your mercy accept our repentance and hear our prayer.
As you fill your plate may God fill your spirit with the undeniable assurance that you are created in the image of God, loved unconditionally by God, and are known intimately by God. And may that be more than enough for you to give thanks
Happy Thanksgiving…gobble, gobble!