Many years ago, my husband lost his job. Our two sons were young, and I was working part-time – but I was not earning enough to pay for our house and everything we needed. It was a difficult time to find work. During that time, our son’s school had a food drive. I wanted to donate something, but said to a friend, “We just can’t afford to give what we’d like to give.” She reminded me that if everyone gives a little, there will be a lot to share. When I dropped off our donation, I saw tables filled with cans & boxes of food, from the many families who gave “a little.”
Today’s scripture from Second Corinthians is all about thankful giving. The farmer who plants many seeds will have a large harvest, and, rather than keeping it for himself, the farmer can show his gratitude by sharing what he has with others. The scripture encourages us all to show our thanks by sharing with others. It asks us to listen to our hearts: to give what our heart tells us to give. We should not give because we feel guilty, and should not give if giving makes us feel sad. We should give because we want to, “for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Some of us have been very fortunate. We live in safe and comfortable homes, we have food on our tables, beds to sleep in, and are warm in the winter. We have been given “every blessing in abundance” And because of that we are able to share what we have with others – with those who are lonely, or sad, who need a phone call or a note – with those who struggle, who need food, or a safe place to live. “[Y]our great generosity will produce thanksgiving to God.”
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays; it is a day of gratitude and joyful sharing. When friends and families gather on a Traditional Thanksgiving Day, they bring whatever they can share; it can be as simple as a jar of yummy jelly, as elegant as a homemade pie, or as welcome as help with the dishes. At such a time we share food, love, stories, and our appetites for all of those things. As we face this very different Thanksgiving, those of us who live comfortably are hungry not for food, but for stories, love and conversation. This Thanksgiving offers us an opportunity to share and create new memories. You can share your love with someone else who you won’t see on Thanksgiving Day by calling them, or sending them a message, or drawing a picture for them.
Despite all of the changes in our lives, have many reasons to be thankful. What are you thankful for? Start writing down the things that you are thankful for and share them with your family and people you love on Thanksgiving Day. The good things that come from living a thankful and generous life, last forever: friendships, stories, memories, smiles, and joy.
Reverend Sue shared this wonderful song with me today. It was shared with her, and I want to share it with you! GRATEFUL: A Love Song to the World
I wish you and your families joy as you prepare for Thanksgiving this week. I wish you time to remember and reflect, time to share stories, time to give thanks, and time to create new memories and traditions.
There is so much to be thankful for.
This week’s Creation Care resources for families – shared by Reverend Sue & the Creation Care Team:
Batteries: Family Activities – Make a list of all things that contain batteries in and around your house, including your car(s). Appoint a “battery czar” in the family. It’s his or her job to manage the disposal of these batteries when they have reached their useful life. This would include the annual replacement of fire alarm batteries and cell phones.
Gas Mileage: Family Activity – Talk to your children about the difference in gas mileage between shorter and longer trips in the car. Encourage them to think about saving gas by walking and biking when possible.
OCEANS: Family Activity – View a recent documentary, produced by University of New England, which provides an excellent overview of the challenges and issues confronting the Gulf of Maine. Watch Coral Reef or the film on sperm whales with James Nestor