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Give Thanks
October 27, 2020, 1:22 PM

Give Thanks

 

October ends with All Souls Day – Halloween – and both the remembering of all who have preceded us and a day of costumes often of frightful creatures or feared entities. As Christians, it reminds us of God’s triumph over the power of death and sin. Thank God for life, for remembering the stories and journeys of faith and existence. Maybe Thanksgiving should begin on All Souls Day followed by All Saints Day, two sacred days to remember and give thanks.

          For November, I want to suggest that we give thanks for much more. Usually, we think of family, where we live, church, nation, job, friends and why not? We truly are Blessed in many ways. Could the list be expanded? I think it would as we see God’s hand at work in all forms of “good.” God is faithful in the hope before us moving into the future that will be different from the past. We might feel reluctant that God is calling us into a future that is not known and is still to be coming and imagined. God is faithful, loving, kind, gracious, merciful, compassionate, working peace among all peoples.

          Social Justice across racial and ethnic lines is moving towards the recognition of the full God image in the humanity of all people, Thank God! Sexism is now exposed, and male domination is judged, thank God! Day by day LGBTQ persons find more Christians acknowledging their full humanity – Thank God. The pandemic has caused us to see that people are more important than consumerism, Thank God. The change of thinking regarding climate change and environmental responsibility is broadening to fuller recognition of care for life on the earth – Thank God. Prophetic voices of journalist and other exposing injustices are faithful to their reporting – Thank God.

          I thank God for all of you who make up this worshipping community of faith. This God who works in you over many many years and who continues to do so. It is a time when what God is doing is like a woman giving birth. Scripture often uses that imagery of giving birth to describe what is new that God is doing in our lives, our church, our community, and our world globally. Romans 8:18-25 with V22 “We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now…V23 We ourselves…also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free.” I suggest that Romans 8 is good reading for us in this time of such enormous change. God is a God of newness and hope. Giving birth – what it feels like is not fully understood by men. Yet, it is a helpful way to understand what we are going through in our world.

          We can give God thanks for school teachers, educators, doctors, the work of our “hands” which means all manner of work, for institutions civil and private, for things, for beauty and truth wherever we find it.

          May November allow us all a month to express our thanks to God, our thanks to and for others, for the reality of God’s love at work in each and every one of you.

         

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