Wednesday Word: Thanksgiving
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is the day where, for those of us of a particular socio-economic class, we will gather with family, or friends, or both, and eat way too much. Maybe we'll watch a football game or two. Maybe we'll play in our own backyard version of a Turkey Bowl, or take part in a Turkey Trot. Maybe we'll spend time handing out meals to those less fortunate than ourselves.
Thanksgiving can be complicated. It can bring family tensions into play, but it can also bring a sense of unity. Who is bringing what always seems to be a topic of debate, and the seating chart can be an interesting point of conversation (just when is someone allowed to graduate from the kids' table to the adult table?). I fondly remember Thanksgivings in Montana when we would gather with some seminary friends to spend together, having our unity bound up in our friendship.
Add to all of this is that this year will be the first time back celebrating Thanksgiving with people after most of us refrained from participating in the holiday festivities last year, so there may be extra pressure on us to “get it right.” Or, maybe, it will be much more laid back and enjoyable as we are just thankful for being able to gather again.
There are a lot of layers to Thanksgiving and it's probably best to not try and examine all of them at once. So whether you want to enjoy the day alone, whether you are gathering with family, whether you are gathering with friends, whether you are cooking a ham, whether you are cooking a turkey, whether you order your meal from Bob Evans, whether your meal includes pickled eggs, or whether it includes yam casserole, I hope this year's Thanksgiving gathering helps to bring joy into the lives of you and those whom you love.
As a remembrance that Thanksgiving is complicated in many ways, here's an article about the holiday itself, its origins, what we got wrong, and what we can get right:
No matter how you choose to celebrate, or not, may you always remember that you are a beloved child of God and that God is thankful for your very presence; and know that I am thankful for having you as part of my life with Saint John's.