My thoughts (David Zier):
Thanksgiving is a time for family, however we define them, but it is also a time for stress. Sometimes, it is so easy to let the critical spirit creep in and overwhelm us. Instead of looking forward to seeing those whom we love, our genetic family or our family of choice, we can get bogged down in the muck of what has happened in our family histories. Aunt Edna who always brings the green jello mold that no one eats. Or how Mom will ask a thousand questions about your personal life. Or Uncle Fred who makes obnoxious noises when he eats. Is the turkey moist? Are the mashed potatoes smooth? And then there is all the stress of dealing with everyone and everything — all at the same time. Yikes!
I am not one who does crowds well, and yes, I sometimes need to give myself a pep talk and pray to get myself prepared for family holidays. But all the critical spirit stuff drags us down and gets in the way. It’s as if our joy is taken away, and we don’t have much to be thankful for.
And then there is today’s scripture passage. Clothe yourself with compassion and kindness, humility, and patience (verse 12). Bear with one another (verse 13). Forgive each other (verse 13). Clothe yourself with love (verse 14). Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Be thankful (verse 15). Let Christ dwell in you richly with gratitude (verse 16). And in everything you do, do it for God and do it in thanksgiving. (verse 16).
As you celebrate the Thanksgiving season, a time to focus on gratefulness, remember today’s scripture passage. Tell your family, or your family of choice, or your friends, how thankful and blessed you are to have them in your life. Be kind, be gentle, show humility and forgiveness, and clothe yourself with love. Maybe you need to say a prayer right now to ask for God’s help to have a more grateful heart. Make room for doing things in the name of God, and ask God to help remove the critical spirit. Remember whose we are, and how Christ taught us to live. Thanksgiving should be lived every day. But when there is a special season set aside, it won’t hurt to make those around us know it is a special time indeed.
Prayer for the day: God, I give thanksgiving to you in my life. Help me to move on today, and to share that thanks with those around me and with those I encounter today. Help me to have that attitude of gratitude each and every day. Amen.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.