Giving Thanks Around the Table

Giving Thanks Around the Table

One of my favorite (non-religious) holidays is almost here. Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends will gather around a table and share a common meal—a culinary labor of love. Though we all look forward to this moment, the meal is certainly secondary to the time we will have with the ones we love so dearly. It is a time of laughter, stories, music, and fun but most of all it is a time to be thankful.

We have become a culture where we put up Christmas lights before we thaw the Turkey. Black Friday sales start weeks before the original Friday. We are a culture racing to the finish line of a race we really don’t want to be a part of, where exhaustion and burnout are the only champions. We’ve allowed our busy lives to push out whatever margins we’ve created for rest and gratitude.  

This Thanksgiving I would like to ask you to take an extra little bit of time to be thankful for the things the Lord has provided. I have provided a brief Litany of Thanksgiving from the Book of Common Prayer that you can use around the table with your loved ones. Some of you will naturally be mindful of others who are not as fortunate, but I ask that you cultivate a sense of gratitude and then from a glad and grateful heart you will be able to pour into the lives of others.  

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Colossians: 3:14-17
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

A Litany of Thanksgiving
Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us.
For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.
For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.
For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,
We thank you, Lord.
For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.
For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.
For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.
For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.
For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.
Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

Prayer for Thanksgiving Day
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.