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Leaning on the back of the velour sofa.  Watching out the bay window, waiting for the cars full of grandmas and grandpas to arrive.  Grandpas dressed in polyester blend suits and big ties.  Grandmas protecting their perfectly-set permanents with plastic covers.  So excited for the day, I’d be up since 4.  I wasn’t lonely, mom was up too, putting the turkey in the oven and peeling potatoes.  Soon the house would be full of people who loved me.  God’s love filled every corner.  Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday all year.

I didn’t know the significance of it at the time, but my parents and grandparents all had dramatically different political views.  They had very different confessions of faith.  They didn’t share the same socioeconomic status.  My uncles (dad’s foster brothers) had different skin colors than mine or each other’s.

How incredible that I remember nothing but their love for me and each other; their laughter together before dinner, at the table, and after dinner; and how sad it was for all of us when we had to call it a night.  Through those extraordinary people, God’s love filled me up every single year.

Perhaps I’ve idealized those Thanksgiving celebrations.  I suppose it’s possible.  Still, whatever the reality, I wish everyone’s memories of Thanksgiving were as filled with love.  I’m absolutely certain that’s not the case. 

But we can do something about that now.

Wherever you go and whomever you’re with this Thanksgiving, as much as it depends upon you, will you decide to fill that place with God’s love?  Will you choose to set aside every possible barrier and do what you can to love those around you?

I’ll pray for you to have the strength, will you pray for me, too?

See you Sunday…

God’s Peace,

Pr. Rachael

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