Excerpt from “The Prayer of Thanksgiving” by Howard Thurman, 1899-1981
Today, I make my Sacrament of Thanksgiving.
I begin with the simple things of my days:
Fresh air to breathe,
Cool water to drink,
The taste of food,
The protection of houses and clothes,
The comforts of home.
For all these I make an act of Thanksgiving this day!
I linger over the meaning of my own life and the commitment
To which I give the loyalty of my heart and mind:
The little purposes in which I have shared my loves,
My desires, my gifts
All these and more than mind can think and heart can feel,
I make as my sacrament of Thanksgiving to Thee,
Our Father, in humbleness of mind and simplicity of heart.
To pronounce, as Thurman does, a blessing on something is to see it as sacred. To pronounce a blessing is to participate in God’s will and way for our living. To articulate a blessing is to share God’s own deep and whole Love.
It’s been a full year already. It has been a year of many blessings, opportunities, challenges, growth and possibility. Together, and with the blessing of so many people, ministries, prayers and sacred signs we have affirmed a growing and healthy relationship between the Winchester and Williamsburg Pastoral Charges. What a blessing! To be the church together is a sign of abundance and love.
What thoughts, images, prayers go through your mind and are shared in conversation when you read, “…and God saw that it was good.” What goodness do you want to create, sustain and share in faithful community? How will we participate together in compassionately serving as faithful stewards of God’s wondrous world?
I am inviting you to link hands and hearts in gratitude in this wonderful sacred season so that fear can become love, loneliness can turn to welcome, and suffering can know rest and joy.
Please post the October calendar on your fridge or bulletin board and plan on attending worship, Bible study, events and gatherings listed. Let’s be a grateful church. Let’s be a generous expression of God’s presence and possibility through our ministries.
For the effort, the love, the care that God provides this and every season, “Thanks!” For the nourishment of our spirit, the challenges and changes that strengthen us, “Thanks!” For the friends we have, “Thanks!” For all that is our sacrament of thanksgiving, “Thank you God!” Amen.
The Prayer of Thanksgiving (by Walter Rauschenbusch, 1861-1918)
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
May you find joy in life’s sweetest creations and blessings! Christine