Amid football, family, and too much food, we pause quickly and without inconvenience to remember and to thank. We remember ancient pilgrims, who followed dreams of alabaster cities and financial opportunity; we remember hospitable first nation people who welcomed them, and then lost their land; We remember other family times filled with joy and filled with anxiety, and old scars still powerful.
We thank you for this U.S. venue of justice and freedom, and are aware of its flawed reality; we thank you for our wealth and our safety, and are aware of how close to poverty we are and how under threat we live.
We gather our impulse for gratitude today, grateful to you and our ancestors, grateful to you for our families, our health, our government, our many possessions.
We gladly affirm that “All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above,” but we yield to none in a sense of self-sufficiency, our weariness in needing to share, our resentfulness of those who take and do not give.
Your generosity evokes our gratitude, but your generosity overmatches our gratitude. We are ready to thank, but not overly so; we remember our achievements, our accomplishments, our entitlements, and our responsibilities that slice away our yielding of ourselves to you.
Move through our half measure of thanks and let us be, all through this day, more risky in acknowledging that we have nothing except what you give.
You have given so much-not least your only Son. Give us the gift of dazzlement and awe that we may rejoice in our penultimate lives and keep you ultimate all the day long, relishing the wonder of your self-giving love. Amen.
From ‘Prayers for a Privileged People’ by Walter Brueggeman