22 November 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Early on, the first Christians confounded their Jewish and Roman persecutors with their cheerfulness, and thankfulness. After all, becoming the main course at a lion dinner is not a pleasant thought. And yet, they accepted their ending on this earth when a simple prayer to Caesar would have set them free.

This year, being thankful is not in vogue among those who want to forget how lucky they are they live in a Republic, and want instead to succeed because their candidate lost. We used to dismiss such behavior as, "bad sportsmanship," or "sour grapes." Now we call it, Republican or, "the Tea Party." They are sad people, and that is sad. But(!) their lack of gratitude is also their Constitutional right and so America defends it, even as Americans may decry their use of it. That too, is protected speech.

I am broke, and unlikely to see any  financial dawn. In the face of age discrimination, I find no work, no interest and therefore, no income save social security. I am grateful for Medicare and Social Security. I am grateful for my freedoms. But most of all, I am grateful for my friends, my parish, my family, and most especially my sons, dau-in-law, and grandchildren.

I hope you had a day full of gratitude. If you are in a country that takes freedom seriously, we do here, be especially grateful. If you live in a country like South Sudan, fighting  for its life while the world pays no attention, or Uganda where the homophobes are in full murderous cry, I pray you find gratitude any  way you can.

America sets one day aside each year for thanksgiving, for gratitude, and yes for a turkey dinner. Christians are not called to one day of thanksgiving, but rather a life time. Gratitude means a life standing for social justice and mercy, proclaiming the good news that the kingdom is at hand. No one said it would be easy!

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