One of the traditions of Thanksgiving is to go around the table, asking everyone to say one thing for which they are thankful. From table to table, we might hear similar answers. Whether you prefer turkey or ham at Thanksgiving, we might all say we are thankful for our health, family, friends, and food. If we sit down and make a list of the things for which we are thankful, this is usually how the list begins.
It can become challenging if we try to continue our list beyond those initial answers. It is not difficult because we run out of options. It is challenging because we are forced to think deeper and wider.
We might name specific aspects of our health, individual family members or friends, or particular items on the table to eat. We are thankful for our physical strength, Uncle Joe, best friend Sally, or the mash potatoes and gravy. We start to get specific, but there is more to say even beyond that list.
Over the course of the pandemic, we have lost a great deal. We have missed gathering with others. We have adjusted our routines and accepted limitations. But we have also discovered the importance of many things. We have gained clarity about what is truly important.
We are thankful for . . .
- Simple prayer, as it renews us when we are overwhelmed.
- Laughter that catches us off guard.
- Doctors and nurses, who have worked long hours.
- Church members, who take an interest in our children.
- Listening to the voices of others, as we sing together in worship.
- Gifted counselors and the wisdom of those who have gone before us.
- Researchers developing a vaccine for Covid-19.
- Watching children play at the churchwide picnic.
- Neighbors, who have called to check on us.
- Baked goods in the oven, which fill the kitchen with anticipation.
- Slow weekends and long conversations with loved ones.
- Community, which reveals the joy of commitment and love.
We can make a list this Thanksgiving, which is deep and wide, of all the things for which we are thankful. We can give thanks for all the many ways God’s grace enters our lives!