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We Gather in Faith

Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis Christian.

REFLECTIONS

     This coming Thursday we will once again as a nation celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving.  From a material point of view, many people will have less to be grateful for this year.  Because of the difficulties in the economy, some among us have lost jobs or fear doing so.  Some among us don’t have the resources we did last year and have had to seriously scale back in many areas of our lives.  In this regard I think it may be well for us to consider two things.  First of all, even with all our difficulties, we are still far better off materially than millions of people in the world.  I remember hearing the story of a recent immigrant to this country who broke down in tears upon her first visit to a super market.  She simply could not believe there was so much food to be had at such inexpensive prices when compared with where she had come from.  Even when times are difficult for us, we still are very prosperous compared with the millions around the world who live meal to meal and day to day.  Secondly, perhaps having less materially can help us to remember where our true treasure lies, the realities that are the source of real joy: The people who love us, the beautiful world that surrounds us, the talents that bring us a sense of accomplishment in the work we do. Are not these and the other gifts like them not worth more than any material wealth we may have?  I am reminded of the teacher who asked her fourth graders to write a list of what they were most thankful for.  She had them read their lists to the rest of the class.  They included the normal good things.  “I am thankful for my bike, my dog, my iPod” and so forth.  One little girl had a different perspective.  She wrote, “I am grateful for the gift of sight, so I can see a beautiful sunrise. I am grateful for the gift of hearing, so I can listen to my favorite music.  I am grateful for the sense of smell, so I can smell the roses in our garden.”  Perhaps on this Thanksgiving it would be good for us to remember how much we still have when compared with much of the rest of the world and to recall the things that bring us great joy and do not depend at all on how much money is in our pockets.