Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
I’m thankful today for this desk and this keyboard and the magic of words that float from me to you. I’m thankful for this empty mug that held yesterday’s herbal tea, and this full one that holds today’s. I’m thankful for the winter sun shining faintly but persistently through the window and for the tree outside, bare branches brave against the sky.
I’m thankful for loving and being loved, for a worn, warm blanket, and a fire in the hearth. I’m thankful for hot showers in autumn and ice cubes in summer and the waters of baptism poured out like grace in all seasons.
I’m thankful for full tables and family feasts. And I’m thankful for simple meals of soup and bread, eaten alone. I’m thankful that at Christ’s table everyone is welcome and everyone has enough.
I’m thankful for the fire of justice that burns within me and within you and also cannot be contained within. I’m thankful for the fire that burns wherever the people of God gather—under makeshift tents and in street marches and even in church.
I’m thankful for you, whatever your circumstances. I’m thankful for the resilience that’s gotten you this far, and the strength that will take you forward.
I’m thankful that God’s will and delight for me and for you is that we live and breathe gratitude every day, hour, minute.
Lord, make me an instrument of your gratitude, not just on Thanksgiving Day but the day after, and the day after that, and the day after that. Amen.
Jennifer Garrison Brownell is pastor of Vancouver United Church of Christ. Her writing appears in the collection, The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms For the Struggle, available from The Pilgrim Press.