I'm helping out at our church's Thanksgiving service. I am praying a prayer of thanks. Here it is. Lots to be thankful about.
"Almighty God, Many of us here have had interesting years. We’ve battled with health, with relationships, and now we’re at war with the economy. And yet, we are here … blessed people …with thanksgiving hearts …We are so thankful.
We live in freedom.
We have opportunity.
We have access to health care.
We can dream dreams.
We can walk safely in our neighborhoods.
We are able to speak our mind.
We have choices aplenty.
We can open a book.
Good music is in abundance.
We are able to apologize.
We can forgive
We can gather here without fear.
We can argue for what is just and not be afraid of being thrown into a jail.
We have food on our tables.
We drink clean water.
Our supermarkets are the envy of the world.
We have the opportunity to participate in the work of the Kingdom.
Our elections are open.
In emergencies help comes quickly.
We are blessed and o so thankful.
And Lord, we are especially thankful that
Through Christ we have been set free.
We have the hope and promise of eternity with you.
And we know, that no matter how low we might get …or how high our emotions might rise …that you will comfort us when we are at our lowest and you will rejoice with us when there is a time for rejoicing.
We are blessed because we can never flee from your presence.
You are our God …and we are thankful you called us to be your people.
Remind on this day and the holiday season ahead to keep our eyes on you …not our circumstance, not on the headlines …but on you …the author and perfector of our faith …the source of our thanksgiving."
As I read this prayer over I know it will hit the sweet spot for those attending our Thanksgiving service. At least I hope it does. The problem is that it's not a prayer I could pray in every church. For many people I know they're thankfulness is pulled from a different kind of well, in some respects a much deeper well.
Maybe it's smart for those of us who have much to put our thanksgiving into perspective.
I know people who have little as compared to my 'much'.
My streets are safe. Their streets aren't.
Justice isn't quite as accessible for them as it is for me.
Emergency vehicles don't zoom down their streets as quickly as they zoom down mine.
My street lights get fixed. The stay in the dark longer.
I can go into a supermarket and buy what I need. I have something called money. Many don't. Their world is different.
But God loves them. My friends know that. They love God. Because of that love and affection ...thanks wells up. There's 'thankfulness'for things rich suburban folks don't know much about.
I need to learn more about that. We all do.