On Thursday, parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, lovers will gather to enjoy a feast of “traditional” Thanksgiving food. For many, it’s “turkey and all the trimmings,” but cultural, regional religious specialties are also on the table. Thanksgiving is for love of family.
Besides family gatherings, members of various religions and community groups will put together a feast and invite those who are without family, those who are poor, and those who are homeless to come in for dinner together. Anyone who comes is welcomed, no questions asked. Thanksgiving is for caring about each other.
Cities like Detroit, Chicago and New York will have Thanksgiving Day parades, with high school marching bands, clowns that handle balloons such as Snoopy, Shrek, and Mr. Potato Head, and people riding floats through the streets. People along the way will stand with their friends, family and strangers to enjoy the spectacle. Thanksgiving is for relaxation outdoors, with some razzle dazzle thrown in.
Football rivals will battle each other on the gridiron and the crowds in the stadium will shout and cheer and groan at missed plays. What about that turkey prepared for the Detroit Lions every year with an abnormal amount of drumsticks? Thanksgiving is for football.
Everywhere Americans are – military folks, and travelers, and other people who are apart from the country and their loved ones will “make” a family for the day. They’ll laugh and talk, cry and share how they celebrate Thanksgiving “back home”. Thanksgiving is for “I remember when…” stories that help make new friends.
On Thursday, as Americans sit down for a feast, around many tables, some will take the time to share - one by one, children and adults alike will search their memories and feelings and answer the question of what they are thankful for.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for:
God’s grace that sustains me.
A wonderful, loving partner.
The congregation of RMCC who has welcomed me with open arms and their willingness to go and grow in Christ.
My friends who are my family.
A place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear.
A simple look outside my window that continuously reminds of the many ways our Creator works.
I have had, amidst the worries and challenges of everyday life, many moments of grace this past year. For that I say, "Thank you, God."
To each of you who grace my life with love and blessings, I pray in song the words of St. Paul:
"I thank my God each time I remember you, which is constantly, praising God for the blessings I have known through your love."