Being Intentional About Thanksgiving
- Tuesday, October 4, 2016
- By Father Robin Ruder-Celiz
Today is Thanksgiving Sunday. Today marks the time each year where we pay particular attention to the many ways in which we have been blessed in our lives and as a parish. I don’t know about you, but sometimes for me, taking time to think about what or who I am thankful for can be really hard. It is no problem to list off everything that is wrong or that has gone sideways.
The problems, the issues and anxieties of daily life are right there in the forefront of our minds. Work commitments and expectations and how we may or may not be meeting them are easy to recall. How we manage or not to get the kids ready and out the door on time for school is again something that we are all too aware of. This pessimism and litany of lament extends from our daily lives to our world view and communities. We may worry and wonder what on earth is happening politically south of our border. We are overwhelmed with the refugee crisis, racial and cultural relationships across the country and around the world. Everywhere we turn and look we are reminded of how much hurt, pain and anxiety the world bears. These burdens become our burdens.
We need Thanksgiving. We need today and this weekend to remember and bring to the forefront of our minds who and what we are thankful for. If we are going to be intentional about our thankfulness then we need to pay attention to these moments not just this weekend, but every day. Through this practice over time, slowly but surely, we will notice that our thankfulness will begin to dominate and overshadow the darkness and all that inhibits the joy in our lives.
This does not mean to say that we ignore or we don’t care about the issues and concerns in our world and lives. Quite the contrary, we care deeply about these to the point that it is perceived we don’t care or take for granted the good in our lives.
Today is the day and now is the acceptable hour where we will reset the balance in our lives and pay attention to our whole selves. We are going to take a few moments to reflect upon and remember those people who have inspired us in our lives or parish. Who are the people or the moments for which we are deeply thankful? It can be a word, a phrase, a picture or even a sentence or two. Take this moment right now to think about that person or moment. When you are ready; write down that person, word, and phrase or draw that picture on the colored card that you have received with your leaflet. When you have done that, place the card in the basket that will be circulated.
All our thanksgiving and inspiration offerings will be blessed on the altar today as part of our thankfulness to God for all the ways in which we are blessed as a people and a parish. Over the course of our Stewardship Campaign, these cards will be on display in the Narthex as a reminder of what we have to be thankful for and the many ways in which God has used each one of us and others for God’s work in the world.