Pastoral Prayer Thanksgiving 2020

God this is a Thanksgiving unlike any others. On this Sunday before Thanksgiving in years past we are talking plans, packing suitcases, frantically cleaning the house, and making 16 trips to the grocery store. In years past we are listing all that we are grateful for, we are pausing to say thanks, and usually we hurry along our busy schedule. This year few are packing, but all of us our anxious. This year Lord, we do more than pause and take count of all that we are grateful for because this year the world has seemed to stop. 

Help us God to find the lesson in that. To sit into the discomfort of that full on halt. For us to truly live and choose gratitude as a faithful and mindful way to choose we must do more than list our blessings and spout them off to you as a perfunctory list of gratitude. We must do more than pause before carrying on with our to dos. We must change the lens in which we see the world. Help us see everything as your gift to us. Our clothes, that sandwich, those socks, that pillow, that breath, all of it, was never really ours to begin with, it was gift. The hands that we fold together, in prayer; gift. Open your eyes for a moment and look at your hands. Those hands have held babies and played concertos, they have held the pens that have bound contracts and operated on hearts. They have welcomed the stranger and gotten calloused in work. They have thrown and caught balls, they have given and received wedding bands, they have clasped together tightly in prayer to you. God as we look at our hands, however tired or wrinkled or calloused they might look, may we see in each line, each memory, each decade, a gift from you. They’re all in there. 

In this realization O Lord we change from pausing and listing to stopping and really changing.  Help us to get there. Transform us as you have transformed people before us. Remove the scales that distort our vision, that we may emerge with the vigor and wisdom of Paul. 

This year, O Lord we choose to stop with the full brakes that 2020 demands and see the larger picture. Widen our vision. Deepen our breaths. Open our hands on which our gratitude is written so that, as an outpouring of our gratitude already lived and experienced, we may feed the hungry, and clothe the shivering, and reach out to the downtrodden and grief-stricken. 

Help us to keep praying in the days and weeks to come God. May we return our hearts and our hands to you as we seek to live a life of gratitude for our experience of you in our lives and in our world. We thank you O God, Amen.

-Rev. Darcy Crain