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Thanksgiving Rejoicing

  • Posted on Nov 23, 2011

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonians 5

The wind is blowing today in Western Maryland. Most Thanksgiving days that I remember were just a bit chilly with a breeze in the air. As a little girl, I would be settled into the back seat of the station wagon as my parents and I drove from Virginia to Maryland–up the George Washington Parkway and over the Cabin John Bridge to Garrett Park, Maryland. Garrett Park was the small town where my grandmother as well as aunt and uncle lived. When I entered the house, the smell of turkey mixed with sauerkraut (a mid-Atlantic Thanksgiving tradition) bowled me over and I was swept into the Spirit of the Macgill-Rucker family atmosphere. It was an atmosphere of rejoicing, of being together. As an only child, I often hid behind my parents for a moment or two when I first walked in the door but soon joined in with my cousins playing Barbies upstairs or hide and seek in the yard.

Now, I make my way out to Western Maryland and we have a family Thanksgiving here. This year there is special excitement since in addition to the traditional feast, we also will have a feast of football with Anna’s boyfriend Michael rooting on the Detroit Lions and all of us rooting on the Ravens in the Haubaugh Bowl. As I make my way inside and out preparing for the feast (including welcoming the cable guy for NFL Network), I catch a burst of the wind. I feel like kicking up my heels and rejoicing. We are healthy and happy and together. There will be much eating, much napping, a fierce game or two of Scrabble, a trip to the bowling alley for more competition and more. Such blessings are always to be given abundant thanks….since we have all had Thanksgivings when someone we love is missing for the first time or one of us is struggling with health or other issues and we have trouble rejoicing much at all. It is good to know that there will be a season of joy again.

Moreover, in my life in Christ, I find that the Thanksgiving wind also ushers in the season of Advent. The season of holy anticipation. That pause between what was and what will be. I look forward to anticipating and pausing with you as I blog and write most days. 

So, take a pause this Thanksgiving. Rejoice and give thanks. Pray without ceasing. And watch for that wind of the Spirit, blowing around you, reminding you that new things are afoot!