Dear People of St. David’s,
I pray that you and yours are well and that this coming Thanksgiving Day is a feast of food, love, thankfulness, and a deep sense of God’s grace for your lives.
I know I’m a little bit early on a Thanksgiving Day message, but I love this day. I love Thanksgiving Day among all the holidays, even though it’s not a religious holiday and doesn’t compare to Easter or Christmas, Thanksgiving Day is the one day in the year most of us come closest to getting our hearts and lives in the right place. I love this day because most Americans can take a day off or take some time from their everyday lives to rest, play, talk, and eat. It’s a moment of calm, an eye in the storm of life. I love this day because most of us sit down to share a meal and make sure that those who are hungry and homeless have a chance to sit and eat in peace. I love this day because we take some of the simplest, least expensive foods and make it into a banquet.
I love Thanksgiving Day because it gives us a tangible moment to experience the truth that it doesn’t take all that much to give us deep physical, emotional, and spiritual pleasure. We can be thankful for all the triumphs and trials of our lives and be drawn closer to the kingdom of God, simply by giving thanks.
Finally, I love Thanksgiving Day because it reminds me of the paradox of learning to give thanks both when life is going well and when life is difficult. It is the one day when almost all of us will remember at some level, that life itself, easy or hard, has been given to us as a gift from God simply because God loves us.
The Christian life on Thanksgiving Day and on all the other days of the year, is a life of blessings and giving thanks. We learn or remember that thanksgiving and gratitude are the keys that open the door to the life lived with God and God’s peace that passes understanding. That’s what St. Paul is driving at in his letter to the Philippians. When we can give thanks and experience life as the God-given gift that it is, then we can be content and give thanks in any and every situation.
Wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving Day, I hope and pray that you will give thanks and allow your heart and soul to be touched by the infinite grace of our God who loves us so.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. W. Frank Allen