When Jesus said, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10 : 10), I do not think He was speaking only of spiritual life – I think He meant us to have positive delight in all the good things in this wonderful world which his Father created. All our senses are given to us to enjoy, and to praise God. The smell of the sea, of the blossom borne on the wind, of the soft flesh of a little baby; the taste of a ripe plum or bread fresh from the oven; the feel of warm cat’s fur, or the body of a lover – these are all forms of thanksgiving prayer.
– Bella Bown 1980
This week is a peculiar place for us to be, Lord. We have celebrated Christ the King and now look forward to his birth. Is it the end of the Christian year or the start? A time of thanksgiving or a time of aggravation? A time of completion or renunciation?
- Gve thanks for liberty while others are held in captivity as slaves in first world homes or in slavery conditions in third world factories.
- Should be appalled that our pursuit of happiness is at the cost of others lives and liberty.
- Give thanks, as we hear that Cyclone Lehar has weakened as it approaches the eastern coast of India, that the Swedish company IKEA has combined its flat pack skills with those of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide easy-to-ship and long-lasting emergency shelters.
- Talk of the opportunities of free speech but fail to speak out at injustice and miscarriages of justice.
- Read in disbelief that a teenager, knocked unconscious by a blow to the back of the head in a homophobic attack, is banned like his attacker from the Albuquerque, United States, shopping mall where it happened.
- Give thanks for Pope Francis’ call to be an evangelizing community: “such a community has an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy.”
We are pleased that we can openly attend worship yet take little notice when others are killed exercising that right.
As Thanksgiving Day in the United States coincides with Hanukkah, remind us that we are all your creation and worship our Creator who loves and delights in us.
We give thanks for the strange discovery by scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine, United States, that nanoparticles containing a toxin found in bee venom can destroy HIV without harming healthy cells.
And so today, as we give thanks, turn our thoughts also to:
- Those in clothing factories in Bangladesh
- Members of the LGBT community bullied and attacked
- The women imprisoned in Egypt following a peaceful demonstration
- The high percentage of Maori incarcerated in New Zealand
- Christians killed in Nigeria while confusion and uncertainty reigns over the position of Islam in Angola