God, there are days we do not feel grateful. When we are anxious or angry. When we are alone. When we do not understand what is happening in the world, or with our neighbors.
We struggle to feel grateful.
But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude to accept life as a gift from you, from the unfolding work of all creation.
We choose to be grateful for the earth from which our food comes, for the water that gives life, and the air that we all breathe.
We make the choice to see our ancestors, those who come before us, and their stories, as a continuing gift of wisdom for us today. We choose to see our families and friends with new eyes, appreciating them for who they are, and be thankful for our homes whether humble or grand.
We will be grateful for our neighbors, no matter how they voted or how much we feel hurt by them.
We choose to see the whole planet as our shared commons, the public stage of the future of humankind and creation.
God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it.
Thus, with you and with all those gathered here, we pledge to make thanks. And we ask you to strengthen us in this resolve. here, now, and into the future. Around this table. Around the table of our nation. Around the table of the Earth.
Grateful: The Subversive Practice Of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass
Rejoice, in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing,
whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace be with you.Scripture Reading 1
Philippians 4:4-9 (NRSV)
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.Scripture Reading 2
Matthew 26:26-28 (NRSV)