We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing

Jeremiah 31:10-14

10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him,
and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.”
11 For the LORD has ransomed Jacob,
and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
and they shall never languish again.
13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14 I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,
says the LORD.”   NRSV

In a non-pandemic year, Thanksgiving is a kind of homecoming, a time for feasting and merriment as families reunite. In many ways, each family member who has moved away is gathered together again like scattered sheep returning to the flock.

In this pandemic year, Thanksgiving has a much different tone. Many families will not or cannot gather in their customary way. Fear and heartache will be uninvited guests at too many of our family tables.

But if God is seated at our family tables, fear and heartache lose their power to subvert the love and thankfulness we share.

“I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
… and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,
says the LORD.”

Today, I pray that love and thanksgiving will be craved just as much and will be just as filling as grandma’s special recipe and there will plenty for second helpings.

I pray a blessed and safe Thanksgiving to you all!

 

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