Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving celebrations are as rich and varied from one family to the next as they are across our world cultures. But whatever the differences, one way or another they all include family -- however we define "family" in our own setting.
But with family also comes the messiness of relationships.
Granted, every year we would love to have a perfect holiday, the kind that we imagine and plan for several months before the actual day. We would like no disagreements, no divisions. We may even figure out a way to keep Aunt Edith and her estranged son from having to sit next to each other for the whole day. But even when everyone promises to be on his or her best behavior, the fact is that we end up with who we really are. At the end of the day, our relationships are revealed for what they really are: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
But this is where the really good news comes in: Only God is perfect and God knows that we are not! What's more, we know that God did not stay at arm's length from the mess of our lives. John 3:16 tells us that God's love extends all the way to getting down into our unfinished, mixed-up lives. God so loved us and all the world that God gave us Jesus Christ, the abundance of his living presence, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So we can take heart. No matter how "perfect" we hope our Thanksgiving holidays will be, the real cause for Thanks-giving is that God shows up first and stays through the end. We can lift up the whole of our lives to God, knowing that God's grace covers it all. ~Betsy Schwarzentraub