Message from Mother Debra
A Time for Thanks-Giving…
Dear Parishioners and Friends of Church of Our Saviour:
On October 29th, just a few days ago at this writing, the Christmas season began in Hallmark land. In the world of Hallmark, they have begun the “countdown to Christmas.” Today is being considered “Black Friday” as a popular online retailer begins its Christmas sale offerings. Retail and specialty stores have rolled out their Christmas displays and departments signaling the end of the “Halloween” retail season for the purpose of moving on to the next big money maker. Noticeably, the retail industry has skipped over Thanksgiving a “non-moneymaker”, which at this writing is 26 days away, focusing instead on “a partridge in a pear tree” and not the thanksgiving moment and meal shared by the native peoples and the pilgrims at Plymouth rock.
As we reflect on the year that is rapidly coming to a close, how can we not reflect on those things for which we are grateful or thankful. In a year that has seen acts of terrorism at home and abroad, devastation from earthquakes and hurricanes home and abroad, destruction from wildfires and flooding, and the list could go on, we are compelled to take stock of that which is important in our lives. Gratitude, despite life circumstances, is important to our emotional and physical health. Once we acknowledge the ups and downs of life – whether we are in a peak or a valley – we must be deliberate in our daily focus on the good, like love among family, the joy of singing and making music or friendship.
Marianne Williamson writes in Too Blessed to be Stressed, “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” When we recognize “how good things really are”, we should, as my Dad says, give thanks. Give thanks with a grateful heart and count our blessings. We should resist the urge to skip over a time for “thanks-giving”. When something good happens in our lives, or when we can find the good in spite of challenging circumstances, there is the opportunity to “Give thanks”. There is no need to wait to reflect on that for which we are thankful. We can reflect this very moment or tomorrow or the next day. In a time such as this in which for many it is difficult to be hopeful and encouraged, taking stock each day of where a glimmer of light has peaked through the darkness may help in spurring an attitude of gratitude and chart a path toward a moment of thanks-giving.
If you’re among those who will be blessed to be with family and friends Thanksgiving Day, be sure to take some time to say a prayer for those who are alone on this day, who are grieving because of the absence of a loved one, or those for whom it is difficult to find a reason to be thankful.
Resist the urge to skip over the turkey for the glitter of the retail offerings and give thanks with a grateful heart to God for the gift of our loving savior and companion Jesus Christ who walks with us in good times and most important in the most challenging of times. Give Thanks.
Yours in Christ with a grateful heart.