12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Happy Thanksgiving! The above passage is one of my favorites and is one that continues to be chosen by many couples for use in their wedding ceremony. I think verse 15 is a perfect reminder for us today: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
In the midst of all that is happening in our lives and in our world, the peace of Christ is something we need to let take control of our lives. For many of us, this is a day of celebration. We will be gathering around tables that are a little fuller than they have been. And we rejoice in the chance to be reconnected with our loved ones and dear friends.
Many families set out an empty chair at Thanksgiving. The empty chair serves as a reminder that no matter how many are present at your gathering, there is always room for one more.
It has become increasingly difficult for everyone to gather at Grandma's on Thanksgiving. Some of us have lost loved ones who will not be physically present with us at our tables. The gathering will be different. But we continue to celebrate the gift of life and love we shared together and the wonderful memories we hold in our hearts and minds. This is a year to make new, wonderful memories as we gather together around our tables.
With or without an empty chair, we can all recognize the importance of making room for and acknowledging the presence of the Risen Lord at our gatherings. Be in touch with God’s spirit of peace, hope, love and joy. And remember in your thoughts and prayers those who will not be with their families and friends this Thanksgiving. Give them a call, or maybe an invitation for a little pumpkin pie.
I know you will be offering your own prayers of Thanksgiving today. I would like to invite you to join with me in the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.