O God, your gifts of love are countless
and we thank you for them all.
May our hearts reach out like yours to every man, woman and child,
especially to those who have less than we do.
and please give them your blessing.
Bless the gifts of food and drink we share at this table.
Bless those who prepared them for us,
Bless those around this table,
Bless creations itself, your treasured gift.
We give you thanks for all. Amen
How did Thanksgiving begin? Hard to say. One popular account traces it to New England in 1621 when the pilgrims recently migrated from England sat down with the native peoples for a feast at this time of the year. Accounts differ whether it was a meal after a good harvest or a bad harvest.
If you take the account of a bad harvest, then the Indians saw the poor Puritans starving and got them a meal of wild turkeys and corn and other foodstuffs those early immigrants knew nothing about.
There are other theories for the feast. One theory traces Thanksgiving to Protestant objections to Catholic celebrations of saints’ feasts and celebrations like Christmas and Easter. Too many, they said. The Puritans cut out these celebrations and kept only two kinds of religious observance, Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving.
It’s safe to say Thanksgiving is a very popular day for celebrating with family and friends. It’s also true that if you went to the churches around our country today, you would find good attendance.
On Thanksgiving I think of what Meister Eckhardt said:
“If the only prayer that you said in your entire life is Thank You, that would suffice.”