Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his love endures forever.
This past weekend I did what I’ve done every November for the last 28 years. I dug through our cabinets and retrieved two sets of turkey salt and pepper shakers. I don’t actually fill them with salt and pepper. They’re of no monetary value and they’re not very attractive, but I give them a prime spot right in the center of our dining room table. You see, they are overflowing with memories - passed from my grandmother to my mother. When my mother died, they were passed to me.
In this season as the days grow long, the leaves begin to fall, and the temperatures cool, we are reminded to give God thanks for those who will join us at our tables to laugh yet again at the turkeys, and those missing from our tables who we continue hold dear in our hearts. We remember and give God thanks for the impact they have made on our lives. Whether saint or sinner, or both, all have helped to form us into who we are today.
Although we won’t all gather around the same table for their Thanksgiving feast this year, I give God thanks for the people of Faith Lutheran in Clay, Alabama – a congregation who loved and nurtured me and my husband, Alan, then released us to take a call as part of the synod staff. Moving back to Atlanta, I give thanks for old friends and a home congregation who shaped my faith and my call into ministry.
Finally, I give God thanks for the congregations I have recently visited in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia (and soon Mississippi!). I give God thanks for the people I have met, the stories I have heard, and the ministry being done in one congregation after another across this synod. There are so many faithful Christians deep within our congregations, living out baptismal calls, loving one another as God loves us, and reaching into the community in which they have been planted.
I pray this November that all of us can look around and see God in the nooks and crannies of our lives, in the turkey salt and pepper shakers, in beautiful friends, in our congregations, and then give God thanks.
Pastor Karen Boda