It’s now become cliché: This will be a Thanksgiving like no other Thanksgiving. It’s true. For the past seven years, in my world, three different families have gathered together to share the day. We are not family in the strict sense of the word but we are chosen family.
Because I’m an only child, I relish the mayhem of a big turkey-day crowd. Back in the day, it was just mom, dad, and me usually going out to eat and then heading to a movie (ah, Benji, The Jungle Book, and Patton – nothing, nothing says “Thanksgiving” like watching General Patton on the big screen).
This year, of course, it will be different. Tom and I will be celebrating the day outside and socially distant with our two children on the porch. Thank you, Jesus for space heaters and electric blankets. Our chosen family is already thinking about the amazing Thanksgiving we’ll pull off in 2021.
So, I’ll just keep repeating…it’ll be different. Some will treat it like any other Thursday. Some, who have been devastated by the coronavirus, unemployment, mental health, or racial injustice will find it hard to give thanks. And who can blame them?
Many of us, however, will find time to take a moment and reflect on all the good things God has given to us in spite of all the loss, sadness, and anger. We will reflect that we are not the first to have experienced such hard times.
Just think of what the Psalmist was experiencing in Biblical days when he said this in Psalm 100:
On your feet now—applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.
This is my prayer for Thanksgiving – and it’s my prayer for you too. May you experience the gift of laughter. May you sing a song of praise. May you remember that we are God’s well-tended sheep. And may you remember God is loyal always and ever.
Here’s the password: “Thank you!”
Thank you, dear readers. Through you, God has blessed me immeasurably. Be safe. Happy Thanksgiving.