A Message for Thanksgiving Day

A Message for Thanksgiving Day

From your Bishop
Dear People of God,

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Thessalonians 5:16-18

It is not always easy to give thanks in all circumstances, because it is difficult to see the good in all circumstances; and at times, it is easier to see the all the difficult challenges we are facing. Whether we are facing health, family, or work issues, giving thanks can be hard. But is it always good to do so. 

Years ago, I saw a film called the Milagro Beanfield War, and a scene early in the movie has stayed with me, long after most of the film faded away. In the scene, an old man wakes up in a small cabin. He finds it hard to wake, hard to get up, hard to walk, and yet he does all these tasks… shambling up to a mirror. He stares into the mirror and says something like this: “Thank you God for giving me another day of life.” I have always been impressed with his ability to thank God for another day when it is clear the day will hold its challenges. 

As we walk now towards a Thanksgiving like no other, a Thanksgiving filled with challenges and griefs, let us remember our abiding relationship with God. May we find the strength to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks to God in all circumstances. For it is in and with God that we live and move and have our being. It is God who sustains us and leads us to pools of living water. It is God who gives food in the wilderness and who sustains the people in times of trial. It is God who created you, loves you, and desires a deep relationship with you. 
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Enjoy thanksgiving, have good food, and find a way to be in conversation with those you love.

And it will be enough.

With Prayers for the days ahead, 

+Michael HanleyEpiscopal Bishop of Oregon