The reading in Matthew is one of my favorites – Jesus calls a little child to him and answers the questions of “Who is the greatest?” and saying that unless we change and become like children we will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Children are playful and carefree – they are insightful and creative.
I see this all the time in ministry, like the years I have witnessed the lead up to the Christmas Play. The children are gearing up, excited. Often as a pastor I am sitting back in a rehearsal, enjoying the free spirits and somewhat oblivious, only to look over at some of the moms and dads who are anxiety-ridden, borderline on the edge – thinking their child is chaos incarnate. I only see energy, enthusiasm, and a spirit of teamwork being born. I often share my smiles and confident spirit that this year’s chaos is just like the last, and it will all come together and be fine.
The lead up to Thanksgiving can be like this too. It is a time of anxiety for many of us, with cooking duties and insane relatives. But the children embrace the day often with much more anticipation and curiosity, pretending to be grossed out by this, that, or the other food, or acting bored, only to run to Snapchat or Instagram to share their true excitement of this very different day with their friends.
May we all capture the spirit of children in this Thanksgiving Season. And my prayer for each of you is that today you may we be filled with curiosity, wonder, joy, and most of all THANKS.
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.