“A Cornucopia of Blessings”
Rev. Katelyn B. Macrae
November 23, 2014
Prayer: Dear God, may the words of my mouth, and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight. O God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Amen.
Friends, what a joy it is to join together ecumenically and celebrate Thanksgiving! For this I give thanks!
As we approach the beginning of the holiday season, it is a time of family and friends gathering together, celebrating, and sharing. It is a time of tradition. In my family our Thanksgiving tradition is that everyone goes around the table before we eat, and says what they are thankful for. In that same spirit, today I invite us to think about our Thanksgiving Meal, not only as a feast for our stomachs, but as a feast for our souls, cornucopia of blessings for which we might give God thanks.
Taking center stage at the Thanksgiving feast is the Turkey of Time – God gives us life, and the opportunity to use the hours and days as to pursue our vocations, spend time with family and friends, to rest, recreate and enjoy nature. Time, and the ability to choose how to spend it, is a gift from God.
Gravy of Grace – God pours grace over us like a small child pours gravy over their mashed potatoes. It pools at the top and then runs down and covers the whole plate in goodness. God generously bestows grace on us, no matter who we are, what we’ve done, or what we’ve encountered. Elie Wiesel, a surivivor of the Holocaust, and winner of the Nobel Peace prize writes, “For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.”
Cranberry of Compassion – Whether your cranberry comes from a can, or you make your own cranberry orange relish, the cranberry on the Thanksgiving table reminds us of compassion. We give thanks for the times when other people have shown compassion towards us, and we remember Christ’s call to be compassionate, to Love Our Neighbors (even the ones we don’t get along with) as God has loved us.
Stuffing of Simplicity – Martha Stewart might make gourmet stuffing with cranberries and roasted chestnuts and truffles, but stuffing does not need to be complicated to be delicious – sometimes you just need bread and butter and broth. Stuffing reminds us that sometimes it’s good to simplify, to simmer down, to find time for stillness, and open ourselves to the Spirit. As we approach the Advent season, I invite you to make some space for simplicity.
Mashed Potatoes of Music – Mashed potatoes are a staple in the thanksgiving feast, just as music is an essential part of our worship life. King David composed psalms on his harp to praise God. Like David, let us raise our hearts and voices in songs of praise and Thankgiving this day and this week!
Green Beans of Blessing – In Genesis 12 it says, “I will bless you, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). Just as the green beans on our plate nourish us and give us the energy to go out and do what needs to be done, let us be a blessing to others as Christ is a blessing to us. Be blessed. Eat your vegetables. Share your blessings!
Pumpkin Pie of Patience and Peace – God knows that waiting is hard – when we’re waiting for exciting things like the birth of a child, or when our waiting is filled with anxiety, such as when we are waiting for news from the doctor about test results. God also knows that the holidays can bring stress, and so we ask God for patience and pray for peace within our hearts, within our homes, and within our world. When we practice patience and find peace, it is even sweeter than a piece of pumpkin pie!
Apple Pie of Awesome – Now, apple pie is good, especially when you get a nice homemade crust, but our God is grand. Our God is an Awesome God worthy of all of our Goodness and Praise!
This year as we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing, may this meal feed our bodies and our souls. May we be reminded of the ways that God has blessed us this year. May we give thanks. And may we be a blessing to someone else. I pray it may be so. Amen.