Scott's Weekly Greeting ...
“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
~Henry Van Dyke
Thanksgiving is a little over a week away. Or ... is it a world away? As we are still in the grips of this global pandemic, as the infection rates skyrocket around the country and right here in our neighborhood, it can be difficult to even consider one of our favorite family celebrations. The reality is that most of us will not be gathering with family this year, or our gatherings will be limited to those who are in our "bubbles." Sadly, the local supermarkets will not be selling many thirty pound turkeys.
How we celebrate this year will change, but the reason has love at its source. We love one another enough to be willing to stay away from each other this year. We love enough to make this sacrifice.
However, since we may not gather in the same ways that we normally do, let us focus upon a new way to celebrate. This is the season of gratitude. Many families, mine included, typically begin their Thanksgiving dinner by sharing those things for which they are grateful. As the opening quote said, gratitude is that inner warmth that we feel for the kindnesses that we have received. Gratitude is the best attitude. It means that we do not take kindness or generosity for granted. We see them for the blessings that they are and appreciate them.
Thankfulness is our desire to share that feeling ... to express it. A couple of weeks ago, our Sunday school lesson encouraged the children, and others, to tell others that they are blessings in their lives. That is a powerful gift that we can share with one another.
The final line in the quote refers to thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is our response to being blessed. It is a way that we can share our blessings so that others may be blessed as well.
It will come as no surprise to you that people are typically very generous this time of year. Food pantries and service organizations receive the most donations during this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many families have created traditions by which they share their bounty with others. That will be especially important and impactful this year. Many of our neighbors are struggling because of the pandemic restrictions. They need a little extra help. And we also know that giving has a positive affect on the giver as well. Let us channel our energies into ways that we can help our neighbors. Let us find ways that we can give and bless those around us. This Thanksgiving will be very different from our "normal" celebrations, but it can be just as meaningful.
This week in worship, we will be blessed by an anthem by our virtual Junior Choir. We will also display the work and the faces of our Sunday school children on our Wonder Wall. And we will sing a couple of our favorite Thanksgiving hymns! (And we will pray that we do not experience the same technical difficulties as last week.)
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072