Happy Thanksgiving Day! I recognize that this day may greet you with a unique mix of joy and trepidation. Gathering with our loved ones, while delightful in theory, is not always smooth sailing in practice. Those we love the most are often the ones who hurt us the most. This time of celebration can be tinged with hurt, resentment, grief, or bitterness. What’s more, many of us have become estranged from those closest to us in the last couple of years because of increasing ideological divides. How do we come together amid what divides us? This isn’t a new question. While this holiday’s history elicits pictures of the “first” Thanksgiving feast with the Pilgrims and Native Americans, many other such feasts were invoked throughout our history, usually amid times of division and strife. Thanksgiving was finally instituted as a national holiday during the Civil War. It seems that God keeps drawing us back to Thanksgiving, offering us a way back home to each other and our common humanity. Thanksgiving then, is much more than a day to eat turkey and make gratitude lists. It’s an invitation to come back home to love. Thanksgiving challenges us to rewire our natural inclination to find the speck in our brother’s eye, to see the beauty and goodness instead. It trains us to look past that which divides us and find common ground. Thanksgiving calls us to be people of love. And so today, may we gather around the table, lay down our lives, our ideologies, our political beefs, and break our hearts open in love. To eat and drink with friends, family, and maybe even enemies. To see past the externals to the heart and the gift of one another. Whatever you hold in your hands today, whatever your lot, may you find the reasons to give thanks, even in the midst of suffering and pain and the reality of what is true in your life. May you experience the peace and thanksgiving of Christ today!

Posted by Kate Laymon at 2022-11-24 14:09:18 UTC