“In all things give thanks. . . .” the words of Paul to the church at Thessalonica,early Christians who needed a word of encouragement in challenging times.(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
This Thanksgiving, many of us long for some encouragement and hope. Due to COVID-19, the holiday will be very different.
A time of traditional reunion, may actually be a time of separation. A time to partake in abundance, may be an hour of need due to economic hardship. A time of joy may be a season of mourning for a lost loved one.
Holidays in general, even in normal times, can be for many, tricky to navigate.
So take extra good care of yourself and those you love this Thanksgiving, whether near or far. Stay safe. The pandemic will not last forever.
And as you are able, give and look out for those hurting and in need. Loving and caring for others is always central to our faith, and can be the very real hope and help that will make a critical difference for someone or their family.
Know that I and United Campus Ministry are sending you prayers, and good wishes for God’s presence, comfort, joy and blessings, as we all seek to “in all things give thanks.”
Let us allow ourselves to feel the full spectrum of our emotions, and trust that our Risen Lord Jesus Christ is ever with us, steadfastly calling us beloved, loving us, ever showering us with grace, strengthening us with calm and courage.
“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
And whether we feel thankful or not, we can choose gratitude as a spiritual practice as a way to keep moving forward, for healing. May this Thanksgiving be a time of healing for our nation, as it was offered that first Thanksgiving in 1863 by President Lincoln during the Civil War.
Some great resources for GRATITUDE:
-Check out UCM 11/22 Thanksgiving Communion Worship Service at https://ucmcollegepark.org/worship-on-demand/
-32 Bible Verses to Reflect on This Year https://www.countryliving.com/life/a28471370/thanksgiving-bible-verses/
–Exciting links on the power of gratitude: How gratitude can help you through hard times https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_can_help_you_through_hard_times
How to find some Gratitude during Pandemic Holidays, Monthly Happiness Calendars, What are we grateful for during COVID and more. . . . .
And feel free to reach out to Samantha, L3 Intern, Rachel, Chaplain Intern, or me if we can be supportive or helpful in some way.
“In All Things Give Thanks. . . ” May it be so this year and always.
God Bless you and yours, In Christ,
Chaplain Holly, firstname.lastname@example.org