Do not worry.” It’s funny to read these words on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is the one day above all others when I worry. I worry about what the family will eat. I think about what I’m going to wear.
Thanksgiving is a good day to worry. If we’re going someplace, we can worry about how it’s going to be, how our kids are going to behave, what an annoying uncle might say to set us off. If we’re having people over, we can worry about getting the house in decent shape and whether we have the right amount of food, drink, plates, silverware. If we’re by ourselves, we can worry about that.
Jesus has a different and simple idea: Relax. Put things in perspective. Will our worrying help us live longer? Trust. Breathe. Live. Focus instead on what’s important, Jesus says. Think about God’s kingdom, where God’s way of love and justice holds sway. It’s coming! Soon and very soon! Think about God’s righteousness rather than your own.
I ate dinner with a Muslim friend recently, and the subject of holidays came up. She said Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday. Why? Because it’s one she can share with her whole extended family, Muslims and non-Muslims, and remember the things they have in common. A love of family. A love of this country. A love of food!
We have so many things other than Thanksgiving to worry about. We’re not going to get Thanksgiving right anyway. The only way to get it right is to let it go. Be thankful—very thankful.
God, your blessings surround us. We awaken to your morning. You feed us like the birds. You clothe us like the flowers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Amen.
Second Samuel records the final words of David. David takes comfort in the covenant that God has made with his family, which must be continued by kings who will honor God and rule justly. The psalmist sings of this same covenant with David’s family and the same necessity to follow God’s decrees in order to rule well. Revelation opens with a vision of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, the King to rule over all kings for all time. Many expected Jesus to set up a political kingdom. Yet in John, Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not an earthly one. This week let us thank God that the kingdom is based not on the exercise of power but on Jesus’ example of serving others.
• Read 2 Samuel 23:1-7. Upon your deathbed, what would you like your last words to be?
• Read Psalm 132. What is your vision of Paradise? Who will be seated around your table?
• Read Revelation 1:4b-8. How do you bear faithful witness to “the Alpha and the Omega”?
• Read John 18:33-37. To whom do you pledge allegiance? To whom do you give lip service?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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