Thanksgiving, as an American holiday, is probably my most favorite time of the winter holiday season. It is a “relationship” holiday, a time for celebrating the bonds that connect us to our God, to each other, and to the Earth. Thanksgiving reminds us that we are not “islands” living independent of each other, but brothers and sisters fundamentally bound to each other and the Lord. We are rooted in each other’s lives, hearts, souls, and memories.
Thanksgiving celebrates the God who gives us everything–our harvests, the fruits of the harvests, and all the people, gifts, challenges, changes, lessons, and joys that have come to us over the year. It’s heady stuff, this Thanks-Giving season…
I’ve been working on remembering all the things in my life that I’m thankful for. It’s a very long list, but here are some of the high points:
- Thank you Lord, for choosing to live in relationship with me, and for opening my heart to living in relationship with You;
- Thank you Lord, for your love, healing mercy, provision, guidance, and for your voice, whispered into my heart in every moment of my life;
- Thank you Lord, for bringing brothers and sisters into my life, for giving me blessed relationships;
- Thank you Lord, for working miracles in our lives every day, and for the faith-building joy that comes when I notice your handiwork and recognize your unmistakably loving intervention;
- Thank you Lord, for the glory of your creation–for the earth and for all its creatures; I love being able to look anywhere around me and see, hear, taste, and smell–up close and personal–your creative play in my world (by the way–that “poop” thing really makes me laugh! It would be nice if *all* our sinful habits and their consequences left us that regularly! Just a suggestion, in case you were looking for something else to work on…);
- Thank you Lord, for blessing us with minds and hearts that echo your creative energy–for allowing us to play with you, to steward your world, and to build your kingdom with you!
- Thank you Lord, for redeeming all our mistakes, from Adam’s fall to that last angry word, and for continuing to rescue all of us, if we call you–and sometimes even when we don’t–when we fall, stumble, succumb to temptation, or wander away;
- Thank you Lord, for noticing what we need before we ask, and for giving us everything we need, every day;
- Thank you Lord, for friends, family, loved ones, strangers, and enemies–for all the people you bring to us, so that we can speak Life into each others’ lives;
- Thank you Lord, for all the lessons you’ve given us that grow your Life in us;
- Thank you Lord, for yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and for the eternity we will spend with you, in praise and worship, Amen.
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need…It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed this Message of your salvation, found yourselves home free–signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life. (Ephesians 1:3, 6, 8, 13-14)