Thursday Reflection: In All Things …

turkey

Sometimes I think we have to fool ourselves in order to keep going in life.  And the verses in the scriptures that require a great deal of deception are the ones that tell us we should give thanks in all things.  Ephesians 5:20 instructs us to “give thanks to God the Father for everything.”  I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances.”Rockwell, Thanksgiving.jpg

The cynic asks: What if I don’t have ‘everything’ I need?  And What if my circumstances are filled with pain?

My “Thanksgiving” is comprised of a day with more food than we could ever consume.  It is a day in which I am literally surrounded by people I love.  I am intensely aware of the chasm that exists between the likes of me and the homeless folk, the victims of war, the chronically ill.  My gratitude must not be a means of thinking I can protect myself against other realities.  I am intensely aware that much of the world’s peoples have so much less than I do in terms of material things.  Many move with far less freedom than I do.

I was thinking earlier today as I anticipated the feasting with the people I know and love – Jesus once told a “prominent Pharisee” who was hosting a feast that he should invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind.  (Luke 14:12-14.)  Those folk were not in evidence at our family gatherings today.

I enjoyed every minute of today’s festivities.  I don’t feel guilty for any of it.  Blessings abound.  And I am also aware of Jesus’ perspective.  Blessings aren’t meant to be a shield against the realities of the world.  Blessings are meant to be a catalyst that incites us to generosity.  For all we gave thanks for today, we are well equipped to love others.  Today is a new beginning, inspiring those of us who have been given much to embrace those who have not.  It’s not about being superficially charitable.  It’s about gaining a deeper understanding of the true purpose of what being ‘blessed’ means.

A blessed Thursday to you …

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.