Some Haliburton women, who shall remain nameless, have sneakily set up public displays of beauty (PDBs) throughout the village. They consist of corn stalks, bright flowers, pumpkins and the like. Clever people. If I didn’t know better I might guess that they’re slyly reminding the townsfolk that there is a wise Creator who is not only artistic but generous, good, faithful, loving, compassionate, patient and just. All this from straw bales and red leaves! If they’re not careful they may cause the local residents to break out in spontaneous expressions of thanksgiving (SETs).
I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. She suggests that the original sin was ingratitude. Our foreparents (Adam and Eve) were surrounded by beauty and had ample provision for need and opportunities to learn and grow. Nevertheless they bought into the lie that this wasn’t enough, that God was holding out on them. That attitude appears to have infected the whole human race. We are so quick to compare and complain, to bicker and be bitter, to fear and fret. Gratitude to God is the antidote, according to Voskamp, who experienced many years of heart-sickness after her baby sister’s untimely death. She practices actually writing down little things every day that God gives, things we usually take for granted. It has proven to be healing and life changing.
The Greek word for thanksgiving in the New Testament is ‘eucharisteo’. From this we derive the word ‘eucharist’, a commonly used term for what we call communion. At the heart of the meal which Jesus shared with his disciples the day before he died is the giving of thanks. We are told, “He gave thanks, and blessed and broke…” He was giving thanks scant hours before his death, for the bread which he said represented his broken body.
It is fitting then that we celebrate communion, the Eucharist, on Thanksgiving Sunday this year. Please come and join with God’s people in giving thanks for not only the harvest, but for the One who was broken for us that we might be healed. And if you see those PDBs in a local village, may they move you to an SET.
In Christ’s love and joy,