open handsThis Thursday our nation will gather and experience a reflection of what we do every Sunday — Thanksgiving or Giving Thanks, or Eucharist. We will gather in communities large and small, repeat the rituals of those communities, repeat our holy stories, remember those blessed ones who have gone before, and keep the feast. We who are Christian will know that through all of these acts we will be offering God the one thing that we have and that God desires — our gratitude.

The Loving One has placed in a world that conspires on our behalf food, water, air, beauty. If we have survived to this day it is because loving hands received us into this world, sustained, trained and cared for us. The work of our hands is joined to the work of others. On Thanksgiving Day, as every day, we will be sustained by our brothers and sisters in the community — the farmer who worked through seasons hot and cold to raise the crops, the truck driver who leaves home for days on end to deliver to the grocery, the cashier who leaves early each day to drop her child in daycare before a long day. These all deserve our gratitude.

We are invited to open our hands to others, and the Diocesan Day of Service on December 1 will give us opportunities to do this together. (Seeaccompanying article and look for specific opportunities next week). In the meantime we are invited to pray for those for whom gratitude will not come easily — families parted by war, broken by addiction, struggling under the weight of grief, filled with anxiety over money or an unsure future, crushed by poverty or jaded by all kinds of despair.

I am thankful for this new chapter in my life in ministry alongside you. In the seasons to come we will often raise our hands in prayer and join our hands in the service of God’s people. For now, let us open our hearts and hands to one another and to God’s beloved world.

Now thank we all our God, with hearts, and hands, and voices.

God’s Peace,