As we sit at our various tables in perhaps still smaller gatherings than we would prefer for the second year in a row, may we still remember to say a prayer of thanksgiving for who and how we are learning to live together as a community of faith every day, growing in faith, courage hope and love. We live in a world that needs us to become all of who God has created us to be – bold and beautiful—radically transformed!
Below is a wonderful quote by Dianna Butler Bass entitled, “Choose Gratitude” and I want to share it with you today because it so beautifully holds the tension of living our everyday, complicated, less-than-perfect days alongside the exquisite beauty of God’s amazing grace and our ability to choose gratitude again and again.
May each of us choose gratitude as our preferred posture this day and in as many days to come as we dare.
God, there are days we do not feel grateful.
When we are anxious or angry. When we feel alone.
When we do not understand what is happening in the world or with our neighbors.
When the news is bleak, confusing. God, we struggle to feel grateful.
But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude.
We choose to accept life as a gift from you, and as a gift from the unfolding work of all creation.
We choose to be grateful for the earth from which our food comes; for the water that gives life; and for the air we all breathe.
We choose to thank our ancestors, those who came before us, grateful for their stories and struggles, and we receive their wisdom as a continuing gift for today.
We choose to see our families and friends with new eyes, appreciating and accepting them for who they are. We are thankful for our homes, whether humble or grand.
We will be grateful for our neighbors, no matter how they voted, whatever our differences, or how much we feel hurt or misunderstood by them.
We choose to see the whole planet as our shared commons, the stage of the future of humankind and creation.
God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks.
We choose it.
We will make this choice of thanks with courageous hearts,
knowing that it is humbling to say “thank you.”
We choose to see your sacred generosity, aware that we live in an infinite circle of gratitude. That we all are guests at a hospitable table around which gifts are passed and received.
We will not let anything opposed to love take over this table. Instead, we choose grace, free and unmerited love, the giftedness of life everywhere. In this choosing, and in the making, we will pass gratitude onto the world.
Thus, with you, and with all those gathered at this table, we pledge to make thanks.
We ask you to strengthen us in this resolve.
Here, now, and into the future.
Around our family table.
Around the table of our nation.
Around the table of the earth.
We choose thanks.
May you never forget that you are loved,