This year our family celebrated Thanksgiving on the 17th – my daughter had to be in DC for a conference, so her brother and his girlfriend came, and we had Thanksgiving a few days early. This coming Thanksgiving Day will be the first I can remember when Steve and I won’t have a house filled with people, a kitchen crammed with cooks, and the delicious smell of a roasting, giant, turkey.
I am aware this year of many who will go through this holiday holding vigil in hospice over a loved one, or grieving a family member who has recently died. I am aware that this is the first Thanksgiving for some who lost someone last year in December. I am aware of people going to family gatherings where they are not comfortable, waiting and hoping that the day will go quickly and nothing horrible will happen. And I am aware of people who have no one to spend the day.
Holidays are such that they evoke many different emotions. Here on Thanksgiving we are expected to remember the beginnings of this holiday and enjoy the biggest feast of the year surrounded with people we really like. And I hope that that is the Thanksgiving you will enjoy. I hope that you can gather around a table that shares not only food, but the giving of Thanks to God for the blessings God has given us. I hope that it is a wonderful day for you. Steve and I may take a trip to one of our favorite places, Longwood Gardens, on that day. I hope you are able to give thanks for the beauty of this amazing state we live in, for the joy your children and/or grandchildren bring you.
For those who find this holiday difficult, may I suggest that you lower your expectations of yourself, be kind to yourself, and choose not to involve yourself in the dysfunction of families. Choose to spend the holiday in a place that gives you peace, and offer thanks to God, and laments to God, from an honest place within your heart. Don’t let the holiday, or the dysfunction, or the sorrow win. Thanksgiving Day was created, not by God, but by humans. You have the power to choose what you do with it. Live in Grace, and know that wherever you are that day, God is with you.
This week at St. Thomas’
Jill is out of the office this week, and I will be here from 10-2 Mon – Wed. The office is closed on Thursday and Friday. If you have an emergency, call my cell phone, 443-377-9048, and leave a message if I don’t pick up. I will get back to you right away.
Thursday: Thanksgiving Day – Chinese Church using the Fellowship Hall from 4:30 pm until 8:30 pm.
Friday: Office Closed
Sunday: 9:30 Christ the King Sunday, our last Sunday after Pentecost. December 2 we begin the season of Advent.
As the rain hides the stars,
as the autumn mist hides the hills,
as the clouds veil the blue of the sky,
so the dark happenings of my lot hide the shining of your face from me.
Yet, if I may hold your hand in the darkness,
it is enough.
Since I know that,
though I stumble in my going,
You do not fall.
– Celtic Oral Tradition –