|"Lead me not into..."|
It is difficult for me to think and speak about - much less practice - being thankful in the context of our national Thanksgiving holiday. It is difficult for a range of reasons, many of which have to do with the triumph of consumerism in American life in general, but especially for the months of November and December. This relates not only to shopping but also our food system and practices. All this consumption, all this excess, all this waste, all in the name of it being "good for the economy" - and none of which makes anyone happier, healthier, or better people. To the contrary...
So my critical brain goes into overdrive during this season, quickly and easily sprinting down the paths of critique and lament. Capital-T Thanksgiving, for me, then, always has scare quotes around it.
But as a minister of the Christian faith, and the gospel/good news that Jesus announced, enacted, and invited us into - I know that (small-t) thanksgiving is a concrete expression of gratitude and should be the first thing to escape our lips when we pray to God. I also know that joy is a fruit/gift of the Holy Spirit, and one that Christians can and should embrace and embody. So yes, Lord, I am grateful; help my ungratefulness!