Ancient church mothers and fathers often greeted one another with the phrase, “Give me a word.” This greeting led to the sharing of insights and wisdom. Today we continue this tradition with this monthly column.
By Rev. Mandy Sayers
Pastor, Covenant UMC, Gaithersburg
At first, it seems that Thanksgiving is frankly about the food. (And the football). Just the word “Thanksgiving” makes my mouth water, and I can smell turkey cooking and taste my grandmother’s gravy. And, oh, there’s the biscuits. And the cranberry sauce. And the green beans and mashed potatoes. And the
Thanksgivings of the past have all merged into a sort of banquet table of abundance in my memory. But the more I sit with my turkey-flavored memories, and the older I get, the more I come to see that it’s not the food that makes the memory sweetest.
It’s the people I ate with.
It’s faces around the table, and the latest batch of new additions, sometimes kin to me, sometimes invited in by marriage or, at least, Serious Dating. Remembering means snapping beans with people who are now at heaven’s table and hearing the laughter and the stories that make us who we are. Thanksgiving is about seeing the blessings that God gives us every day of the year, all piled up on one big table, and all the people we love that we can possibly fit into the dining room, living room and kitchen.
What if Thanksgiving could be all month long (minus the excess calories)? What if the act of thanksgiving, the practice of gratitude, was something we all did together this month? Remembering each day, the people and stories that tell us we belong to God and were bought with a price might be just the practice for a blustery November. After all, we go from the communion table of All-Saints, and the gathering of those witnesses who call us to remember who we are in Christ, to Christ the King Sunday, reminding us that Jesus is Lord, in a world where so many others seem to want the job.
Will you join me in remembering, in practices of gratitude, this month? I’ll see you at the table, where Jesus feeds us all.
If you want to bring the cranberry sauce, I think Jesus would be good with it.