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.