Thanksgiving – easier said than done

Giving thanks is great in theory but hard in reality.

It’s hard when you don’t feel thankful.

When sadness and despair are sucking all the life out of you.

When you’re mourning the loss of a loved one.

When your family is divided, and people aren’t included at the table.

When you’re sick.

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When you’re tired.

When you feel neglected.

When your body is letting you down.

When you’re alone.

When God isn’t there.

When you’re broke.

When pain is always at your door.

When you’re hurt.

But that’s what makes it all the more important.

Thanksgiving teaches us to gather together once a year to be thankful.

But we’re called to something different – something counter-cultural.

Jesus calls us to ongoing gratefulness;

Blessed are those afflicted by poverty, for they are in the family of God

We’re called into being grateful and practicing gratitude with every breath.

Not once a year; once a breath.

Not when things are easy and we all have over-indulged in a hearty meal with family.

But especially when things are hard, when we have lack, when we are alone.

Blessed are those who have lost loved ones, for they will be comforted.

We are called to focus on the abundant life; what is…

Blessed are those who are desperate for justice, for they will be filled.

Not to focus on what is missing in our life; what is not…

Blessed are those who don’t blame, for they will not be blamed

Practicing ongoing thanksgiving isn’t mere positivity and putting on a happy face;

Blessed are those with peaceful beings, for they will experience God

it changes our reality from the core of our being.

It’s taking control over the one thing we can change: ourselves.

Blessed are those who bring opposites together, for they will be called children of God

Thanksgiving is contagious.

In a broken world beyond our control or capacity to fix,

we break the world down into digestible pieces;

into relationship and into action.

Blessed are those who are attacked for maintaining their integrity, for they too are in the family of God

Giving thanks re-shapes our reality and the reality of those around us.

It challenges and offends those who wish only to attack and pursue.

Blessed are you when people insult and attack you and blame you falsely because of me.

And being thankful is something you will never have to apologize for.

It’s how Jesus led his life.

It’s how we were created to be.

We were created to be thankful.

With every breath.

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