Today we are sharing our American holiday with a mixed group. We will have American friends. We will have African friends. We will have American friends that are a little African and African friends that are a little American. As I thought about what I would say, how I would explain a holiday that was centered around a turkey and people coming together to eat I came up with this. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we will be enjoying a day of cooking, visiting, and be thankful for the mixing of blessings that God has put into our lives.
Thanksgiving Day Meditation:
Thanksgiving is a holiday were we celebrate life. The original thanksgiving started because when Europeans first landed in what is now American, they landed in a boat, sure that they were in a place divinely given to them by God and yet just as unsure how to use this divine gift to make enough food to eat. The first year they were there they almost starved to death because of a lack of food. Luckily the native people had the graciousness and hospitality to help them out and bring them food. The native people held life to be sacred and were interested in preserving the lives of these visitors. Some things don't change. Yesterday people came and helped us of European descent kill and prepare the turkey because we sometimes still have no idea what we were doing. :).
The most important thing about today though, is that it is a holiday that celebrates life. It celebrates the life preserved by those first kind acts, and it is a time to be thankful for the life that we are given now and to be thankful for the things that preserve that life today. I am thankful for the life of the turkey that is allowing me today, to eat, to celebrate, and to be with family and friends. The turkey is a part of creation, given to us by God, that allows us to continue our lives. That same God gave his own son, that we may have life of a different kind. Not mere existence, to suffering from one moment to the next, but a full life. A life of joy, peace, and mercy as we take our God given responsibility to preserve the lives of those around us in friendship and support.
I want to end with saying that in thanks I want to give my life as well. As Romans 12:1 reminds us, we are to be living sacrifices, to show our thanks through our work, our effort, our love of others, and our belief that life is sacred. We are here, not to give in to the death that is in the world, but to remain thankful for the life we have been given and be responsible for the preserving of life and dignity of those around us.
I am thankful for each one of you here. And I pray that you also have many things to be thankful for.
What are you thankful for?
And how are you going to show your thanks?