"Give thanks to God and bless God's name."
Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson
After graduation from college, my daughter set out to fulfill a dream. She became a cowgirl, punching cattle and riding horses (and four-wheelers) on a cattle ranch in Australia.
She discovered that those ranches—called "stations" in Australia are so large that ranchers don't often bother with fences. What they do instead is make sure to dig a deep well that offers a plentiful year-round supply of water. In the dry outback, their cattle will never get too far from the well, from the living water.
Thanksgiving seems to me a "deep well" kind of holiday. The fences are down as strangers and sojourners are extended an invitation to the table. Like the well in the outback, the feast draws people from far off, some even returning from being lost for a time. We gather at the deep well of a big table. Hallelujah!
While I also love the other more liturgical holidays and holy days, like Advent and Christmas, Epiphany and Easter, it may be that Thanksgiving has over the years become my own personal favorite among holidays.
That's because Thanksgiving by history and in practice, at least when we get it right, tends to be a no fences/ deep well holiday. The Thanksgiving table is a deep well of sorts. Eating together: basic but profound. It gathers us in, gathers us home, keeps us close - without fences.
Not only does Thanksgiving seem like a no fences/ deep well holiday; that's a pretty good description of the God we worship, of the One to whom we give thanks on Thanksgiving. We worship a God who isn't into barbed wire and boundaries nearly so much as open tables and deep wells.
A blessed Thanksgiving to you!
Grant us the one thing truly needful on this day, O Lord, the gift of a grateful heart. Amen.