Transcript for Thanksgiving 2009 By Bob Kleinheksel
Spirit of abundance, reality of Thanksgiving; to Life itself and a Uniting Presence pervasive throughout all: we direct words and thoughts to our very own depths; we direct emotions and will to the fabric of this world; we express our minds and hearts to God of all our understandings –within, without and whatever and whoever in both clarity and mystery. In confusion and comfort we continue to make sense of our place in this world and the life we are to live.
Graying days, blowing winds and naked trees-along with our own emerging humanity with all our fears, foibles, unhappiness and contentments, compel us to think again about the seasons of our lives and to wonder of the most basic questions of life and love. We gather to wonder, to learn, to think, to express gratitude, to affirm a mutuality and oneness that affords new understanding, sensitivity and gracious, grateful response.
During this time of feasting, leftovers, busy schedules, nagging anxieties, runny noses and winter wardrobes, may we stop to wonder of this world so that we catch glimpses of an eternal and brooding spirit of love and grace so active…but so often unnoticed or unappreciated. As the earth leans away from the fire of the sun, may we, who have failed to be living examples of Earth stewardship, care, love and justice, be filled with the warmth of grace, thanksgiving, gentleness, respect, compassion and tenderness in all we say and do.
We rely on this community for help, welcome and encouragement. May we continue to care about crying, laughing, feeling deeply, assisting those struggling with life and relationships, with death and dying….those struggling to face living as well, those with particular holiday sadness and loss. We remember those who have lost a parent. We remember those living with cancer – moving through the depths and hopes of chemotherapy and radiation.
With all the energy and honest inquiry of this place, let there also be great care for this world and for the things that make it better and perhaps easier to live with one another. We are open to caring about and making hard decisions and the risks and sacrifices it takes to make this happen. May justice emerge, may it surface even a little or at a distance. May we be open to fresh encounters, new insights, greater convictions and compassion as we create a safe haven as well as a place of risk – in honor of Jesus and so many others who lived abundantly and generously.
As birds and animals now seek new sources of sustenance in these changing days, may we, too, wonder and search for just what it is that brings out the compassion, passion and gratitude in us that changes this world into a more beautiful, understanding, healthy and gentle creation. We remain open to be sparked into new activity, drawn into gratitude, tickled into laughter, goaded toward more radical justice – exposed as leafless branches in this autumn time, ready to enjoy and serve the world. Amen.