A Time for Thanksgiving

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18

Today is the day. The day when the seeming madness of the holiday season is finally fully upon us and there is a whirlwind of family. We are consumed with preparing the perfect meal, finding the perfect gifts and making sure the family is happy and satisfied. Yet, is that really what it’s all about? How can we pause – take a breath – and recognize what this day means for us and for our relationship with God?

Thanksgiving can be a hectic and crazy holiday for some, filled with family and food and Christmas preparation; but it can also be lonely and a little scary for others, as the empty seat across the table takes on a whole new meaning during this time that’s supposed to be filled with loved ones. Yet, there is always something to be thankful for. We as Christians are called to give thanks in all circumstances and it is not always the easiest calling to achieve. We can get so wrapped up in the moment, in the now and the present, that we forget our calling and our truth. 

So, may today be a day of thanksgiving, of remembering the good things put before us and the good that is yet to come. Sometimes, when the words are hard to recognize for ourselves someone else writes them so much better. Feel free to use the following prayer to recognize what today is and what it could be, and may it help us grow in our relationship with God as we strive for daily thanksgivings. Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings, from your family here at Sterling UMC.

 


A Thanksgiving Prayer

By Reverend Linda McDermott – First United Methodist Church; Fort Worth, Texas

God who loves us, who deserves our gratitude for so much that is good. We offer our prayers of thanksgiving to you:

For the beauty of the Earth – bright orange leaves mixed with green, a gentle rain, a spider’s delicate web.

For friends, for family, even acquaintances who offer us kindness, who bring us laughter, who hold us to a higher standard.

Lord of all that is good and nourishing to our well being, we give you thanks.

How we must try your patience with our pettiness!

All of life is a wonder. the very breath we take, the ability to rouse ourselves each new day, a single blade of grass that holds such miracles of symmetry, a tiny distant start whose real size boggles our minds.

We take our lives granted – as if it were our right, and not our gift.

We take our days and our loves and our passions for granted – as if tomorrow will verify their importance and our present moments have other things to occupy us.

Gracious God, who lavishes goodness upon us even in some of our darkest moments, help us to see your goodness, remind us to have grateful hearts, give us receptive minds, and grant us ever-gracious ways of living in harmony with each other. 

And in our gratitude, make us to be instruments of your peace.

Amen.

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