“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,”
(1 Corinthians 1:4).
After an opening greeting, St. Paul begins most of his letters by giving thanks. Even when he is sharing a difficult word with a wayward church (Corinth), Paul still takes a moment to give thanks to God. In the First Letter to the Thessalonians, he actually encourages those who follow Jesus to “give thanks in all circumstances…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18a). Here Paul offers a word of challenge, but also a word of invitation.
Let’s be honest, this is going to be a challenging Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, we would gather for Thanksgiving at my Aunt Joan’s house, and everybody was there. Family, friends, and neighbors. We would watch the Detroit Lions get pummeled on the television in the garage, and then we cousins would play football in the backyard. Later, in the evening it was euchre and cribbage. There was always more than enough food. This year, things will be very different. For many of us this will not be the kind of Thanksgiving we are used to celebrating.
So, how might we move from challenge to invitation? How might we take St. Paul’s words to heart, and “give thanks in all circumstances…”. How might we invite others and yes, even ourselves to give thanks to God in times of discouragement and worry? As you prayerfully consider Thanksgiving 2020, for whom and for what do you give thanks to God?
Drop me a line or an email response to share how you’re giving thanks to God for this Thanksgiving.