Start your Thanksgiving meal with a prayer of thanks

Thanksgiving time again. Families will feel safer to be together than last year when we walked daily in fear of one another. One thing to give thanks for this year is the availability of the COVID vaccine and the tenuous “security” it offers which allows some sense of normalcy in our lives.

Some family gatherings celebrated in years past, will still be put on hold out of fear of today’s danger. That is to be expected. Some families still rely on school teachers, particularly in our elementary schools, to teach the true significance of the season and that’s not new. It has always fallen to teachers to instill the significance of the day in our children’s minds. How many pilgrims and turkeys did I make or color in my years in the classroom?

Some churches will (or have already done so) have a Thanksgiving dinner for their church family. I had the privilege of home delivering such dinners to some shut-ins, and it was, indeed, a privilege.

I don’t think it is intentional, but I do believe it to be true, that Thanksgiving paves the way and opens the door leading into the Christmas season. I encourage you to let the truth of giving thanks permeate your life. Let it prepare your heart for Christmas.

To do that, we must truly give thanks for our many blessings not just on this one day but every day and many times a day. Just as God’s mercies are new every morning, so our giving thanks should be new every day.

When you awaken in the morning to a beautiful day as weather goes, it is easy to thank God. But what about those mornings you step out into weather you don’t like? Rain? Wind? Cold? And, no doubt soon, snow. Don’t like it? Give thanks anyway! Somebody else may be thrilled with it.

Start your Thanksgiving meal with a shared prayer of thanks!

When I was 11 years old, my Mom and Dad took over the management of the Fulton County Home. Though it was a live-in position for most employees, a few lived close enough to walk in daily. We shared meals around a large table. I remember my Mom at our very first meal there pausing before passing the first dish and saying, “From now on, our meals will begin with prayer.” And they did. Prayers of thanks for our many blessings. That had been our practice at home and she simply continued it in this new setting. No one ever complained.

So, give thanks. Enjoy your family and friends, or, if you are alone, enjoy and give thanks anyway. God bless you each and every one.