We are blessed! As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we give thanks for all the blessings we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy.
Beyond just being grateful for all the gifts we have received from God, the giver of all gifts, which we should do every day, we can carry our gratitude farther and consider how we might bless others with all we have been given.
Samuel F. Pugh wrote a prayer titled “Remembering Others” that some use as their prayer on Thanksgiving. With humble apologies to Mr. Pugh, I borrowed his thoughts to suggest some of the things we may have to be grateful for EVERY day and echo his words that in our remembering we be moved to take action.
Whether we traveled to gather with others or others traveled to be with us for Thanksgiving, may we be grateful for the freedom to travel, the freedom to gather, the freedom to pray, and all the freedoms we enjoy. May we remember all those who do not enjoy such freedoms and those who travel, not for pleasure or leisure, but travel to escape oppression, extreme poverty, violence or the impacts of climate change. In this remembering, may we commit to do something to work for peace and justice for all God’s people for each tomorrow.
As we gather with friends and family, may we remember all those who are alone today, and commit to do something to make someone’s life a little less lonely each tomorrow.
When we recall the Thanksgiving celebrations we missed because of Covid, may we remember those who are ill and suffer every day from diseases that are not treatable and those who are ill and suffer from diseases that are treatable but are not being treated because they lack access to adequate, affordable medical care. In this remembering, may we commit to do something to fight for the right to medical care for all God’s people for each tomorrow.
As we enjoy the shelter of our home, with its heat, electricity and clean water all available at our fingertips, may we remember all those who lack adequate housing, those who have no heat or electricity, and those who have to walk miles to get any water at all. In this remembering, may we commit to do something to help others enjoy these simple blessings each tomorrow.
As we sit down down at our tables to enjoy our dinner, may we remember all those who will go hungry today and commit to do something to help see that they will have food to eat each tomorrow.
And when we grumble about having to go back to work after our long holiday weekend, may we remember those who have no job, those who are underemployed, and those who have to work multiple jobs and still struggle to provide for even the most basic needs for themselves and their families. In this remembering, may we commit to do something to support the dignity of workers and decent wages for all workers for each tomorrow.
Yes, we are indeed blessed! This Thanksgiving, as we recall all the gifts with which God has blessed us, may we be moved to share our prosperity and blessings with others. “Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given.” (Luke 12:48) We cannot solve all the world’s problems, but we can all do something – with our voice, with our hands and feet, and with our treasure. We have been given these blessings, NOT because God’s loves us more, but so that we might serve God by serving others.
For the many gifts and blessings we receive each day, and for the responsibility, willingness and ability to share those gifts with others, we say Deo Gratias! And Happy Thanksgiving!