November 20, 2016
In all things, give thanks. In. All. Things. Give. Thanks. I like to think of myself as a particularly grateful person. It’s one of my greatest aspirations. Yet oddly, I blew it. I didn’t say the words “Happy Thanksgiving” during worship and someone let me know. Oops. So, I heartily say it now: “Happy Thanksgiving!”
We are called to be grateful. We are called to remember that despite the many things with which we are concerned, thanksgiving grounds us and allows us to focus on our many blessings, even those we do not perceive. The act of thanksgiving puts our lives in perspective, and helps us know that for everything, there is a season. Yes, thanksgiving, while many in our country tremble with fear of the known and unknown, and while the most oppressed and vulnerable are more at risk that ever. Thanksgiving reminds us that trouble doesn’t last always and that some of us are the children of those who survived the unsurvivable. Take heart, for injustice galvanizes people of faith to respond, and calls God to act and move.
“In all things, give thanks,” comes from the first book of Thessalonians. Paul wrote these words to the church of Thessalonica as words of encouragement during challenging times. He also taught that thanksgiving was a facet of who we are as Christians, a behavior we should exhibit and is the will of God. In terms of “the will of God,” it isn’t that God obligates us to be thankful. Instead, we are welcomed to live into thanksgiving despite the many painful, traumatic, frustrating and disappointing things many of us face. In light of our circumstances, gratitude may not always feel probable, but it is possible.
This week, I pray you are loved. I pray that if this is a difficult time for you, that you take care of yourselves. I pray that you find joy and peace. And most of all, I pray that you are grateful for some thing or someone, for in that sacred place of thankfulness is your glimmer of hope.
In the best sense of the words, I say again, “Happy Thanksgiving.” – Rev. Kelle Brown