we welcome with anticipation this Thanksgiving week
–our one authentic religious holiday shared by
religious and skeptics alike—time to rest and play,
to gather with family and friends
around abundant tables, football games,
and appropriate pauses in which we remind ourselves
to be grateful for your many blessings,
and to confess that we have much
for which to be thankful.
It is inadequate, we know, for us to set aside
this one day to express our thankfulness,
for you bless us daily
and in ways too numerous to count.
But we are grateful our God,
for all your many blessings:
For peace in our land,
and for those who guard it’s fragile sustaining;
for the love of family
and the faithfulness of friends;
for secure homes, and warm beds,
and an abundance of material blessings
un-imagined by half of this world’s population.
Thank you for health
and for your sustaining grace in our illnesses;
And for your Church,
who teaches us to be better persons,
by loving you and others, and ourselves.
And thank you
for privileges and affluence may they be always the blessings
you intend them to be;
help us guard our souls in this
that we may be righteous builders of your kingdom.
But above all,
thank you for new life in your Son, Jesus Christ,
For in that life we find the hope
that our tomorrows will be better,
and brighter, and fuller, than our yesterdays.
-Israel Galindo, November 23, 1997
Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and Leadership in Ministry.
Galindo contributes to the Wabash Center’s blog for theological school deans.