Lost in the Mashed Potatoes

Ellen Fillette, Director of Children's Choir
Ellen Fillette, Director of Children’s Choir

By Ellen Fillette

It’s that time of year again. Turkeys are flying off the shelves, families are preparing to endure relatives, and the fire department is anticipating a few extra calamities. Cooking happens to be one of the things in this world that brings me great joy so it should come as no surprise that I anxiously await Thanksgiving morning. I absolutely love the chance to spend days laboring over a meal to share with the ones I love most. Thanksgiving mornings are filled with last minute trips to the grocery store and brief glances at the Macy’s parade between prepping each dish.

Now, I know that thanksgiving is not one of the designated church holidays, but my faith certainly informs my understanding of the tradition. In my preparations for this year’s dinner, I was struck by the thought of the story of Mary and Martha. I could not help but realize that I am often so lost in the Thanksgiving dinner preparations that I actually forget to take the time to give thanks. Sure, we say a blessing before our meal, but that can feel more like a formality than an outpouring of thanks. When was the last time I—like the psalmist— allowed my heart to “Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.” When did I last truly give thanks on Thanksgiving for family, friends, shelter, clothing, nourishment, transportation, peace, assurance, salvation, comfort of the Holy Spirit, or any of the countless other blessings I seem to gloss over on any given day. This year, don’t get lost in the mashed potatoes. Allow Thanksgiving to be a day where we grapple deeply with the blessings we have been given and remember where they came from.


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Trinity United Methodist Church is located in McLean, VA. Our weekly worship services are on Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. and on Wednesdays at noon. Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m. for children and adults. Children up to 6th grade are also invited to Children's Education during the 10:30 service. Adult Bible Study also occurs on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Please visit our website for more information.

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