giving thanks no matter what

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. A special day traditionally set apart to give thanks, spend time with family, and eat.

But giving thanks is to be a habit that we learn to practice day after day. Of course we’re giving thanks to God. But I admit to my chagrin that I don’t always feel thankful. Oftentimes I feel more like the prophet Habakkuk must have felt. There is so much injustice in the world, and then there are problems not only right at my doorstep, but everywhere around me. One doesn’t have to look long or try to imagine. The challenge and brokenness of life and existence too often stares us right in the face.

But we give thanks no matter what. It is something we do regardless. Yes, because of God, who God is, what God has done, is doing, and will do. No matter what we see in front of us, or how we are processing that. And even with song. Just as Habakkuk did. Not a bad book to read today, by the way. With this celebratory ending. All in and through Jesus.

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

prayer for Thanksgiving

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer