In a world of such chaos and crisis, let us be especially thankful this Thanksgiving season. With all the headlines sharing violence around the world and such disfunction in our own country, may we be reminded that God is faithful, that Christ is risen, that the Holy Spirit continues to move and transform, and that we are called and sent to share the Good News of God’s grace.
The Psalmist writes, “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. A fitting scripture in a holiday that is celebrated around a table. As the family I grew up in expanded with the marriages of my siblings and myself, and then again with the birth of grandchildren, the table we sat down to on Thanksgiving Day literally grew. Dad added tables he borrowed from the church. They were placed end to end so that all were apart of the same table. Those celebrations remain some of my favorite memories.
As my siblings and I began leaving for college and then our own adult lives, mom and dad began to get involved with the international students at the university in their town. When we would all gather back at my parents’ house with our own families for Thanksgiving Day and the meal; the table had grown yet again. Mom and dad now included their “Purdue Kids” to our table. It was wonderful! It would be this way till they died.
Thankfulness is something to be shared! Come, “Taste and see.....” Come, let’s share in and enjoy together the abundance of God’s blessing and goodness. Come, find out for yourself how good God is and how blessed you are! We are to reach out and include each and all in the richness of God’s love and God’s blessings. The very inclusion of others is a blessing in itself! Our children LOVED going to “Grandmother and Granddad’s house” for Thanksgiving! The joy and laughter, seeing cousins, enjoying the wonderful meal. Memories they still cherish. Yet their love of the experience only grew with the addition of the international students. They added their stories and experiences. They helped us see with fresh eyes, just how good God is and the abundance of God’s blessings in all our lives!
With the inclusion of others our own lives are enriched! Each Spring and Fall we’re blessed to celebrate the addition of new members to our congregation. As God adds to our fellowship, the weave of gift and grace expands our ministries and missions enabling and empowering us to increase outreach, extending God’s love to our community and the world. As we listen to our neighbors, hear their stories, and our knowledge and understanding are increased – our lives are enriched! We have a fuller understanding and appreciation of God, our world, and even ourselves. This only increases our thankfulness!
This Thanksgiving season, may we all celebrate and share our thankfulness; that God’s love, and the grace of our Lord, Jesus – the Christ, and the companionship of the Holy Spirit would be known by more and more. Have a joy filled and blessed Thanksgiving!
Be God’s Pastor Jim