Here we are in November already. Fall colors have come and gone, and most of the leaves have fallen from the branches. The school year is well underway, families are settling into the new routine, farm fields are quickly being cut down for the winter, and the Holiday season is right around the corner with Thanksgiving literally only days away. Of course, with Thanksgiving we enter into the Christian season of Advent—the arrival of God incarnate in Jesus Christ—and how fitting that is. With Thanksgiving, we find ourselves both celebrating the gifts we have been abundantly blessed with while also noticing even more acutely the struggles within our own lives and others. We become more aware of that which compels us to express our gratefulness, while we also become more sensitive to our plight and the plight of the world. While it seems contradictory, it also seems to make sense. Things really could be a lot worse. Then again, things really could be a lot better.
On the one hand, we recognize how much we have been blessed, and we seek God so that we may offer our praise and gratitude. On the other hand, we recognize so many areas where God’s blessings could be better manifest, and we seek God to intervene in our world and show us how we may participate in making those blessings realized. Actually, one may describe our participation in the work of God incarnate as also a way of expressing gratitude for God’s presence in our world. As we approach Thanksgiving, we begin to see how much we need and want God intervening in our lives and in the world. How fitting it is that Thanksgiving takes us into Advent.
May you be filled with both thanksgiving and readiness this month of November. Blessings upon you and those who dwell in your heart … Pastor Bob