Thanksgiving shall be here again…But for those who have seen too much in the news lately, this year may have turned out to be those years when one would just like to say, “Here we go again…”
It seems that, even though we plan on celebrating a holiday in which we give thanks for the many blessings that we have in the past year, it seems that we just could not ever catch a break when it comes to so much we see and hear on the news these days…One shooting at a synagogue here, another shooting in Thousand Oaks there, not to mention that there happens to be a wildfire in that same state where the tragedy had taken place. But that is certainly not all: We have even had hurricanes Florence and Michael.
When are we ever, ever, ever going to catch a break?
And yes, as I have mentioned, Thanksgiving is going to come up, but there is a question that is swirling in our minds: Are those people who have experienced those shootings, as well as the hurricanes and wildfires, going to be celebrating Thanksgiving while they are still in mourning, or have or are going to lose all of their possessions? And what about us, those who are still lucky to have our lives, still have our possessions, are we still going ahead with our plans for this most blessed of holidays while the whole, wide world is spinning out of control?
Well, truthfully, I do not have the answer to ANY of these questions; But what I do know is this: It may be Thanksgiving this year in a time of testing, but at least there is something that just might make us feel better: At least we are thankful that we are still alive, thankful that we do not live in California or other places that are affected by the hurricanes, and at least we are certainly thankful that we do not have any loved ones who were at that nightclub that very night when a gunman took the lives of 13 people. Most importantly, even though we are going through the most challenging year that we have ever experienced in all our lives, at least we are thankful that we have the courage to tough this out together as one.
When the pilgrims came to America in 1621, they have survived the most dreaded winter of their lives, even though many of the other pilgrims have died throughout this ordeal. Then, the Indians came and taught the Pilgrims how to fish, plant, and hunt for animals; Then, the following fall, there came the most bountiful harvest that there ever was, and then the Pilgrims and the Indians began their great feast of giving thanks for the blessed harvest. This practice was done then, and it is still very much in use hundreds of years later to this very day.
The pilgrims have survived the harshest of winters in their first year on land; Now, hundreds of years later, we are surviving a time of testing. However, we have something a lot more important: We are thankful that we are still here, and we shall always be thankful that we are still together.
And so, as you and your families gather around the table and say your prayers of Thanksgiving this year, say a prayer for those who have been affected by the senseless violence, for those who have been affected by the recent hurricanes, and especially those in California who are going through the worst wildfires in America’s history. May the Lord God have mercy and to wrap His arms around them all.