Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NRSV)
As Thanksgiving approaches, lovely and familiar traditions come to mind.
Here’s a practice I encourage: Begin each day with a grateful heart!
And, not to leave you without a few helps, here's a boost from poet e.e. cummings:
“i thank You God for most this amazing”
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
As we prepared for our Thanksgiving Messy Church (please join us this Friday!), I came across so many ways to cultivate gratitude and thanksgiving. It’s all about practice. More specifically, it’s all about daily practice and when the tough days come, we are rooted, grounded, and ready to move through the valley of the shadow with God’s help.
Among the treasures I uncovered that will be part of a new thanksgiving practice, an Iroquois Prayer that reads:
We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with waters.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicine for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and the squashes, which give us life.
We return thanks to the wind, which moving the air has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars,
which have given us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of his children.
Finally, our Mom prescribed a special way of living and not so much with words, rather in action. It’s not happy people who are thankful. It’s thankful people who are happy.
God bless the way as we celebrate Thanksgiving together