Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Far from Home

This was a unique Thanksgiving, observed far from family and familiar settings. Nevertheless, I spent it with honored comrades and my spiritual family. Most of the day was spent with National Guardsmen serving their nation and state far from home. I prefaced the prayer for our meal with readings from Psalms 105 and 106, emphasizing the phrase from Psalm 106 that states, "Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right." As these soldiers help to maintain security for our nation by identifying smugglers and others who would endanger our way of life, they help keep Americans safe and comfortable, even those who do not recognize their sacrifices or appreciate what they are doing.
Did you give thanks after the elections for living in a nation where the government can change without riots, insurrection, or assassinations? We truly are blessed. May we maintain this ability to work in harmony even when disagreeing.
My Thanksgiving included telephone conversations with family and loved ones who are too far away. Several friends sent emails to remind me of their care for me. The day concluded with festive sharing of dessert with my local church family. The church, when it functions as the body of Christ and the family of God, provides the ultimate support group for sinners, which is what we all are. There are those who believe that the church's role is fruit inspecting or preliminary judging. However, the Scriptures teach that it is encouraging, healing, and helping the broken-hearted.
Give thanks for our God's amazing grace.