Our family gathers around the Thanksgiving table every year. The venue changes (we’re in Rhode Island this year for the first time) but now the menu does not.
Mistakes were made. Once I cooked a wild turkey our sexton had hunted with a bow and arrow. Another year I abandoned my bread stuffing for a chipotle cornbread recipe I saw in a foodie magazine. These innovations were met with the kind of murmuring that a pastor hears when she changes the words of the Doxology, and for much the same reason.
Like a familiar liturgy, the reliable sameness of the items on the Thanksgiving table signal some order amidst the turbulence that takes place from year to year.
My parents are long gone, and our children are grown-ups with jobs, married, and there are now three grandchildren in the last two years.
Like most families we’ve had our share. We have weathered illnesses and injuries and periods of joblessness. We have seen our children off to college and move to other coasts. We have welcomed home a prodigal now and then.
So when we gather together before the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie there is something of the sacred about the feast before us. The simple fact of being together makes the time holy.
And like the sky above us, and the earth beneath our feet, the steadfast love of God frames our several journeys through time, for which we give thanks.
Prayer: Everlasting God, we thank you that your love and mercy endure to all generations.
(This is my United Church of Christ Daily Devotional for November 27, 2014 with yearly updates. To see the original go here. To subscribe to the Daily Devotional and receive it every day by e-mail go here. Photo of turkey by R.L. Floyd, who cooked it as well)