October 9, 2018
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
(Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)
Thanks giving after Thanksgiving
Some years ago, I was in Lebanon with my friend Ron Nikkel, connecting with those who guided ministry to prisoners in that troubled country. We were led by a Bishop of the Maronite Church who was chaplain of the prison system.
I was startled at one of the many sumptuous middle eastern dinners we shared when, as we rose from the table, everyone stood behind their chairs. The bishop then led us in a prayer of thanksgiving for the meal we had just enjoyed.
There is something wonderful about that practice. Many of us rush through a blessing before we eat but it may be better to lean back afterwards in reflection about the shared bounty and blessings we have enjoyed. And say “Thank you” both to the God of all good gifts and to those who provided it.
Perhaps after the rush of life around this past Thanksgiving weekend we might pause this morning to reflect on the past few days and give thanks. To the God of all love, comfort and compassion and for those who have shared the time of celebration with us.
A Thanksgiving Blessing
May this season of mellow fruitfulness enrich and bless us;
may we harvest relationships of trust, forgiveness and generosity;
and until we meet again, may we be kept in the hollow of God’s hand.
(from Celtic Prayers for Life Today. Ray Simpson)