“Giving Thanks”

How and for what have you been thankful during this Thanksgiving Weekend? In addition to the turkey, ham, dressing, rolls, pies, and cakes, along with the houseful of family and friends, what does Thanksgiving mean to you?

For so many, Thanksgiving is a day of family gatherings, lots of wonderful smells from the kitchen, and in many cases, visits out of town to family. A crowded dining room table with a huge turkey, beautiful ham, beef brisket or roast beef, and untold amounts of vegetables, rolls/cornbread, salads, and of course desserts is the order of the day. Often family will visit with others for church, and then return home for Monday morning business. In many cases, families leave Saturday morning with hugs, smiles, and promises of next holiday visits.

What is the deep, spiritual meaning of Thanksgiving? We know how some history books teach Thanksgiving, and in Indigenous history and in my conversations with our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters, there are completely different interpretations. Despite the historical inaccuracies and interpretations, this day is a God-given gift so that all who participate may see that God is the ultimate giver of life and grace. God still calls us to live lives committed to justice, peace, and love for humankind. Our giving of thanks is for the grace and mercy God in Christ has bestowed upon our lives, and our response to God’s love and care is to live committed, faithful lives.

How and for what have you been thankful during this Thanksgiving Weekend?

“Gracious and Loving God, thank you for the opportunity to share meals, gift-giving, holidays, and life with those whom we love. Family and friends are gifts from you when lived to and for your glory. Grant us the continued grace to live and celebrate life in you. In Christ we pray. AMEN.”

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