I remembered grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins coming to visit. I remember the Macy's Day Thanksgiving parade. I remember getting to decorate the house, inside and out following that Thursday. I remember Thanksgiving Day church services and singing songs we only sang once a year, such as Now Thank We All Our God and We Gather Together.
We Gather Together was written in the Netherlands in 1597 by Adrianus Valerius to celebrate the Dutch victory over the Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout.
Now Thank We All Our God was written by Lutheran minister, Martin Rinkart, around 1636. Rev. Rinkart had moved to Eilenburg, Saxony at the beginning of The Thirty Years War (1618-1648). The war started out as a conflict between Protestants and Catholics and Eilenburg became a refuge for political and military fugitives. Massive over crowding led to pestilence and famine. The song was song and used as grace at the Battle of Westfalia in 1648.
Today, my family is scattered or passed on, so I celebrated with my daughter, her boyfriend and his little boy. My sister travels to her husbands family in Daytona Beach. My step-father celebrates with his sister-in-law in Fort Myers.
Kathryn, Matt and Nicholas were not interested in watching the parade. Too much commentary has been interspersed with the floats and marching bands.
Church services are now mostly preceding Thanksgiving Day and usually ecumenical. (A Good Thing.)
The meal became a shared experienced. I shopped, Kathryn cooked and Matt? Well, Matt and Nicholas hung out together. Kathryn is an excellent cook and loves to do it.
Thanks be to God.
Football games have become a tradition on Thanksgiving, but I am not interested in football, so I spent my time digging out the Christmas decorations, giving thanks for no rain.
On Wednesday, I awoke not even a little sore following a car accident that I had Tuesday evening heading to church. My little yellow car, Tweedy, cannot say the same thing. Her front is smashed in, hopefully not too bad to be fixed, since my last car loan payment is made this month. I am driving, until 3 PM, a pick-up truck.
I am thankful to be safe, to have had car insurance, and to be in a vehicle to drive.
I am sitting in Borders, using it as a free internet cafe. No longer do I have to pay $5 for about two hours of internet access. I still find it much better to get computer work completed out of the house.
So, I am thankful for this warm, dry space, that connects me to my friends, FREE.
I am thankful for having a job this season, considering all those that do not. And, I am especially thankful for working for the people of God at the Bishop's office for the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware. And, thankful for all those I work with day by day.
I am thankful for my good health, remembering those who do not.
I am thankful for having a roof over my head and that it is large enough to provide shelter to Kathryn, Matt and Chris.
I am thankful for my family at Sts. Andrew and Matthew, a place and community that nourishes my faith and pushes my limits in my mission.
I am thankful for the Disciple Bible Study group, a new community that meets every Tuesday evening.
I am thankful for my continued mission to and for the people of Sudan. I am grateful for having God provide an extension of my ministry by providing me with serving on the Board of AFRECS (American Friends of the Episcopal Church in Sudan.)
For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve, we thank you Lord.
Now Thank We All Our God (lyrics)
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.