Thanksgiving is the purest, least commercial
holiday on the USA calendar (though the encroachment of retail sales to
Thursday is disturbing). It reflects four universal human experiences:
First, gratitude for a harvest that sustains life for another year.
Second, the centrality of shared meals: whether fancy or simple, there
is something special about the table with family and friends. Third, a
hospitable welcome for people of all cultures. From Squanto to an
exchange student, mutual love and respect grows around the table. And
fourth, our need to thank the Almighty and celebrate the bounty provided
for our flourishing.
year, A.D. 2019, the Thanksgiving Table takes on new significance for
our nation and our world. What if millions of homes open their hearts
and tables for peaceful celebration and conversation of topics other
than impeachment and elections? What if around the Table, conversations
were more personal, more encouraging, and focused on making
neighborhoods stronger, with more opportunities for the marginalized?
if Thanksgiving history is shared, with the miracle of the Plymouth
settlers meeting an indigenous friend who spoke their language and
respected their God (and helped them survive)? What if we cry and laugh
over what really matters?
year, let’s host tables of inclusion and joy, lingering over delicious
food (football can wait), and grateful for the warmth of faith, hope,
and love? Political problems, football games, and great retail sales are
ephemeral. But the people we love and the new friends we make are