Thursday, November 26, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! I know this one feels very different from Thanksgiving’s past. The pandemic has made everything “weird” for lack of a better word. My sister’s family and my dad were going to come up to our house for the first time for Thanksgiving this week, but they canceled because of the sharp rise in cases in our area and the country. I understand; my dad’s 80 and has lost acquaintances to the virus. I told my sister that of all the people they would be around, I’m the one with the most exposure, and I wouldn’t be offended if they changed their minds.
I’m still grateful, however. I’m grateful for my dad and my sister, even though I was looking forward to spending time with them. It just means we will have to plan something later! I’m grateful for my health. I’ve been rehabbing my knees for months, and I can play soccer again. I’m grateful for my wife and kids. That they are healthy, that she’s employed, that we haven’t all gone collectively nuts the last several months. I’m putting my faith in God that this year full of disruptions won’t have any long-term negative impacts on my kids; that they’ll learn resilience and some good habits! I’m grateful that my wife and I have both been employed this whole time. The work has been challenging, and I don’t always feel like I’m doing what I should be doing… that I’ll look back and realize I should have focused on “a, b, c” and not “x, y, z.” But that’s change! It challenges us to figure things out, and we might not always be successful at it. But, there’s always GRACE from God—God knows our challenges and forgives our honest failures. And y’all have been gracious to me as we’ve tried to “figure it out” the last many months.
Grace. “Gratia” in Latin. That’s the root of the word “gratitude.” And “gratis,” which means something given for “free.” Grace, gratitude, free gift… that set of words sums up the Gospel, sums up what God did in and through Jesus Christ. There’s a lot more to those little but really powerful words. I am also grateful to all of y’all! Ya’ll “graciously” give of your time, talent, and treasure for the support of the church, and I’m the biggest single beneficiary of it. Thank you! I feel gratitude toward all of you and have been incredibly blessed as your interim pastor. That is my “Thanks-giving” this year. I’m not sure what we’ll eat on Thursday… maybe sushi, because why not? It’s 2020!