I often think of it as the perfect holiday: parades and football to watch, no gifts to buy or wrap, and a whole day devoted to eating! At my house, Thanksgiving is always a little frenzied. We're never quite sure when the turkey is done, we've selected a new stuffing/dressing recipe that is more challenging than expected, a few of the potato rolls burned, and we just don't know if we'll have room left for pie! Perhaps it sounds too frenzied for you, or perhaps your drama is more about the people and less about the food. But for me, it's just the way I like it. Too calm, and it wouldn't be Thanksgiving!!
This year, I am thankful for a wonderful church family that has been a great partner in ministry for the past year and four months. I'm grateful that my husband Matt has been called to serve a church very close by. I'm grateful that we're renting a great house from another lovely church. I'm thankful that I have a new nephew (who I will finally get to meet at Christmas).
But I also can't help worry about those who have much less to be thankful for this year. Besides leading us to the table, I think Thanksgiving should lead us to prayer. Prayer is best when it encompasses both our gratitude to God and our deep longings for God to show us how to bring about peace, justice, and compassion for all people. I am praying for better health for so many in our community; for those who are losing homes due to foreclosure; and for people enduring the holidays without a job. And in the wider world, I continue to pray for economic security in Europe, for peace and freedom throughout the Middle East, and for people whose food supply is insecure, especially in Africa.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Where do we still need God's blessings in our hurting world?
Here's to an attitude of gratitude this season.