There are a lot of “non-liturgical” holidays. Mother’s Day….Valentine’s Day (sort of)…Labor Day….and more. I think Thanksgiving Day is the most Christian of the lot.
Some holidays take more explanation than others, but Thanksgiving Day requires almost none. That act of giving thanks is the quintessential act of acknowledging “creatureliness.” I am contingent. I am not God. I am dependent on others.
On my more sinful days, I wish to be independent – to depend on no one but myself. It is part of the American myth to imagine oneself self-made – autonomous. There are few insults more universally affirmed in our culture than that of “dependency.”
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reality of unhealthy dependencies, but the idea that anyone could be, or should be really autonomous is, it seems to me, idolatrous. Only God is autonomous….and even God choose to create and in some measure make Godself dependent on the welfare of that which God had created. Is there any biblical text more breathtaking than that of Philippians 2:
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave…..
and became obedient to the point of death –
even death on a cross.
So, assuredly I am thankful for food and for clothing and for money in the checking account, but mostly I am thankful for the web of relationships that make life something worth living. I am thankful to and for God and I am thankful for family and friends and colleagues – for YOU!
Thank you. God bless you!
UCC in Iowa