News and Views

Thanksgiving message from the bishop

Posted by Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling on

November 21, 2022 | A Message from Bishop LaTrelle Easterling

Oh Lord, my God! When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
     – How Great Thou Art, by Stuart K. Nine

Joy, it has been said, is the serious business of heaven. In this season of Thanksgiving, gratitude is accompanied by joy and wonder as we offer thanks to God for our many blessings.

As we gather around our Thanksgiving tables, I offer thanks for you and the wonderful gifts you bring to our Church and the world. I also pray that your every day will be transformed by wonder.

God often lives in the awe of everyday miracles – in the love we share and in the moments when we open our hearts to recognize the beauty of holiness all around us.

Recently, I found myself in awe and I was surprised by the accompanying joy. My husband and I were finally able to attend the Balloon Fiesta held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, each year. We were scheduled to attend in 2020 when it was canceled, and we couldn’t attend last year for scheduling reasons. This October our time had finally arrived. It was still dark as we neared the park and the glow from the balloons being inflated was beautiful. After the dawn patrol gave the green light for ascension, the balloons began to fill the sky. I walked closer to the edge of the viewing area to take it all in. I was completely lost in the colors, shapes and sizes of the balloons when I heard voices behind me. They were talking about the amazement on someone’s face as they watched. They described a face full of awe and wonder. From their description, I presumed there was a child near me and I turned to see their face, but I found no one. When I turned around to face those behind me, I realized they had been talking about me!

Fr. Richard Rohr posits that the wonder and awe we find in contemplation opens us to the surrender necessary to experience the fullness of God. When was the last time you found yourself lost in total and complete awe? Where were you the last time you completely surrendered to a moment or an experience? I was completely open and vulnerable and present and free as those balloons filled the sky. I was holding nothing back nor was I concerned about what anyone thought. That is when love has her opportunity.

It is my hope that this spirit of transcendence lifts you in the days ahead. Let joy be your prayer, your strength, and your inspiration. May you delight in the faith that gives us purpose and life. On this Thanksgiving, and as we move together into the light of Advent, I wish you awe, wonder and love.

Blessings and Peace,
Bishop LaTrelle Easterling