Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Thanksgiving is a very meaningful holiday for me because I was born on Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps this is why I’ve always considered gratitude to be part of my DNA. I am so grateful that my parents shared the love of Jesus with me from a very early age and am thankful to God for the opportunities I have had to live out my faith over many years. Psalm 95 is my song of gratitude to God
O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
This Thanksgiving, as we all recognize, will be very different from any other Thanksgiving Day in our lifetime. Our world is in the midst of deep lament as COVID-19 continues to spread, claiming 1.41 million lives worldwide, stressing our health care systems, and dramatically changing the way we live. Many of us will be staying home this Thanksgiving in order to mitigate the spread of COVID and will communicate with friends and loved ones through technology. The lament of Psalm 38 pierces our collective souls.
Everything I long for is laid out before you, my Lord;
my sighs aren’t hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds; my strength abandons me.
Even the light of my eyes is gone.
11 My loved ones and friends keep their distance
from me in my sickness;
those who were near me now stay far away.
15 But I wait for you, Lord!
You will answer, my Lord, my God!
21 Don’t leave me all alone, Lord!
Please, my God, don’t be far from me!
22 Come quickly and help me,
my Lord, my salvation!
My sisters and brothers in Christ, in the midst of so much uncertainty and grief, we have hope because of God’s promise never to leave us or forsake us. At this tender time, each one of us is called to be the face and voice and heart of Jesus by expressing our thanksgiving to God, by caring for one another, and by doing our part to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way.
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
With deep gratitude,