“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”     1 Thessalonians 5:18  

 “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”

~ Harry Ironside

         I come from a long line of sturdy, German farm-women, strong of limb and capable. My Grandma Elvie told stories of laying out the larder of meats and mashed potatoes for the threshers who cleared the harvest fields. She recounted the number and varieties of pies and the appetites of labor. The men were no doubt grateful for her generous provision, as she was grateful to repay them with all they really had at hand, the heartland meat and potatoes that nourished generations preceding her to that very day.

         Walking into my New England kitchen this afternoon, the two freshly baked Thanksgiving pies waited, still warm from delivery. Though unknowing the generous baker channeled my grandmother in a heartbeat, opening this flood of memory.

         I would like to tell you that I smiled serenely, delaying gratification for a day, or more, til that moment soon arrives for proper Thanksgiving. But the time of waiting we call Advent remains days ahead, and the time of fasting that is Lent seems impossibly distant. This is the time for feasting. This is the day for praise. This is the season of gratitude for all manner of things small or bright.

         And so I ate the pie, by myself, standing in the kitchen alone, fork in hand. Not all of it of course. My husband won’t think to look under the tin foil for the missing piece until he reads this and goes searching. Nevertheless, God invites us into just such a moment as this. Savoring blueberry harvest and ripe grain, all manner of vegetables steaming and fruits of the vine. Every sacred bite of the Thanksgiving feast carries the memory of our belovedness, the fragrant whiff of God’s unfailing provision recalled in our mouth, remembered in our bones. At whatever table you feast, heavy laden or spare, give thanks to the God from whom all blessings flow. Give thanks.

Prayer: We thank you God for your unmerited regard for us, and your unrelenting provision. Grant that we may respond with glad hearts, knowing that whatever we have received and whatever we have to share will be sufficient. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland