A prayer to ponder this Thanksgiving

Written by on November 22, 2010

We approach this Thanksgiving week grateful for the many people and churches we get to work with across Canada and the U.S. We are reminded of the way God so creatively weaves together our deep concerns and passions and efforts into a holy shape. God is always up to something good, in ways far beyond our imaginations. So this week… …we would encourage you to pause and reflect upon the way your family and friends have been woven into the grace-filled story of your lives. Look around the tables that you find yourself seated at, both at work and at home…and be reminded of how God goes ahead of you, providing what you need on the journey. Also be reminded of how your life is a gift to those others seated around the different “tables of our lives.” You have been blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:1-4). Here is prayer that we have found fruitful to reflect upon and ponder around our table here at VP3. May it be a timely reminder to pay attention this Thanksgiving week to what God is graciously up to among your community…Blessings. We are second and you are first Before our well-being, there was your graciousness, before our delight, there was your generosity, before our joy, there was your good will. We are second and you are first. You are there initially with your graciousness, your generosity,             your good will – and we receive from your inscrutable goodness grace upon grace,             gift upon gift, life upon life                         —because you are there at the beginning,                                     at all our beginnings. For a quick glimpse, we move beyond our competence,             our productivity, our self-sufficiency                         —in our new freedom what we glimpse is you—             outpouring yourself unreservedly in the midst of our hurt                         and toward our hopes.                         You are there in the splendor of your self-giving. So we speak our timid, trembling praise back to you,             timid because we are no match for your goodness,             trembling because our praise means turning our life to you,                         and we do not turn loose easily.                                     But we do turn loose to you,                                                 source and goal of our very life. Our gratitude arises out of the dailiness of our well-being,             of meals regularly before us, of folks regularly caring for us,             of homes regularly warm and safe, of sleep regularly refreshing,             of new days regularly given against the darkness,             of work regularly filling our days with order and dignity. And in our taken-for-granted regularity,             we discern your abiding and fidelity that holds our worlds             toward well-being. Our gratitude wells up in the midst of such regularity—             new words spoken, new children born,             new vistas opened, new risks taken,             new words uttered that heal.                         We dare confess that in these startling break points,                    we glimpse your powerful care                         which runs beyond our capacity to manage                     and beyond our exhausted capacity to cope.                                 You…after all our best efforts,                                  it is you, you who hold and you who break.                                             And we are grateful. Amen. Walter Brueggemann (Myers Park Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C. / October 21, 1990) Taken from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, 137-138 (Fortress Press)

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