Pass the Thanksgiving

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How do you give thanks? With song? With dance? With poetry? With photography? With silence? With friends?

What do you give thanks for? Your pet? Your home? Your grandkids? Your spouse? Your life?

There’s much to be thankful for: good health, a home filled with love, a church family who loves God, and for a good book on a sunny November day. Remember though, some folks may be going through a difficult season and what they need isn't a lecture about this or that but a listening ear.

Be gentle to one another during these holy-days. Be present with one another. Be kind to that uncle of yours who presses your buttons because he's lonely and wants the attention. Be sweet to that relative who talks over everybody about all the things you could care less about because they, like you, just to be heard. Above all, give the gift everyone will be most thankful for: yourself.

Friends, during these holy-days, do take time to remember those who are away from loved ones and say a little prayer for them; do make an effort to celebrate what is good and beautiful in our lives; and above all—do all you can, while you can to show much you love one another.

Don't talk about the Cubs...okay maybe jut a little but not to the point where your grandma who is a Cardinal fan loses her dentures.

Don’t sweat the small stuff—like burnt rolls and undercooked sweet potatoes or the stain on your tablecloth.

Don’t talk politics. Just. Don't.

Tell those you gather with, whether you seem them every day, one a year, or you’re having Thanksgiving supper at a local restaurant—how much you appreciate them.


Here’s something else to consider. We’re all we got. This life together is the only one we have right now. Let’s do our best to celebrate one another.
I love what the psalmist says in Psalm 66. Particularly I love the paraphrase from Presbyterian Pastor Eugene Peterson:

Take a good look at God’s wonders—
they’ll take your breath away.
He converted sea to dry land;
travelers crossed the river on foot.
Now isn’t that cause for a song?

All believers, come here and listen,
let me tell you what God did for me.
I called out to God with my mouth,
my tongue shaped the sounds of music.
If I had been cozy with evil,
the Holy One would never have listened.
But God most surely did listen,
God came on the double when God heard my prayer.
Blessed be God: Adonai didn’t turn a deaf ear,
God stayed with me, loyal in God’s love.

There’s much to be thankful for.
In case you didn’t know or you haven’t heard it in a while…

I am thankful for you. Your presence in my life—whether it is a physical one or simply a digital one—makes my life brighter. You are a gift to this big and beautiful world.

I offer these words as a blessing and a benediction. They come from one of my favorite poets and writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Pass on the goodness of life wherever you find yourself this week!
[Adam Quine, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln]


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