The psalm upon which the opening hymn for the anniversary service was based says, “Enter into God’s gates with thanksgiving” and “be thankful.”
Not everyone in Canada is able to gather as freely as we did in P.E.I. that night. Perhaps this Thanksgiving will be the first time you return in person to your faith community. As you enter into your church building, enter with thanksgiving to God.
The second event that reminded me of the importance of giving thanks was a ceremony in Bradford West Gwillimbury, Ontario, for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day). An Indigenous Elder named White Eagle, whose mother was a Residential School Survivor, led us in a series of activities and reflections. When a bird flew by in full voice, White Eagle invited us to listen to the song of the raven. When a bee flew around his chair and drum, he urged us to hear the message of the bee saying to us, “just be…just be thankful.”
White Eagle urged us to say “thank you” using the Indigenous word Meegwetch. And he encouraged us to say Meegwetch to the Creator, the earth and sky, the elders and newborns, our town councillors, and our community.
For what do we have to be thankful for during the fourth wave of the pandemic?
Here is a partial list:
- For health and strength and daily food.
- For a public health-care system that doesn’t always get it right but is working hard to ensure we are all safe.
- For scientific research that has developed vaccines.
- For the love of families, friends and congregations.
- For God’s protection, care and presence.
Perhaps, like me, you have had incidents that have encouraged you to be thankful even in the midst of these difficult days.
May you have a blessed Thanksgiving.