Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to lots of food, the Macy's parade, and two dinners with family and friends. This week and last week, I've been reflecting often on what it looks like to be thankful in the world in which I live.

Last week's post about the Occupy movement got me thinking about so many in America, and in my own community, who struggle to pay for groceries with food stamps, have been unemployed for a long time, or whose homes were foreclosed. The Occupy protesters are standing up for these people. I wonder what their Thanksgivings will be like. Will they go to soup kitchens? Will they be getting help to have a dinner? Do they have a kitchen in which to cook? Harvard-Epworth UMC collects "turkey baskets" for the Salvation Army each year. We gather all the ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner, place them in a baking pan for the turkey, and deliver them to the Salvation Army. They say demand is up again this year. Last year, our Young Adult group made three turkey baskets. I hope folks in other places can get turkey baskets or something similar.

this luscious turkey pic is from

Even though our budget is tight, we were still able to afford Thanksgiving on our own. I know we should be thankful for that, but penny-pinching is never fun. It can be hard to be thankful when one worries about money. I have realized that thankfulness is a spiritual discipline. Even though I don't feel thankful sometimes, I am called to be thankful. One way we can be thankful is to be in solidarity with those in need. We can do this by praying for them, helping them on Thanksgiving if we can, and showing that we care when we volunteer among them.

These moments of remembrance echo the remembrance of Jesus in which we engage during the Eucharist. We are all called to live that remembrance of Jesus every day-"what you do unto the least of these, you do unto me." When we love others as Jesus did, we become more like Jesus each day.

How do you become a more thankful person in your faith journey?

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