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Pastor Lisa's Letter

What does it mean to be thankful during this time of uncertainty? That is a question I’ve been pondering lately. Unlike most years when extended/blended families comes together to dine on turkey and give thanks for all we have. Like having a full house of family, fun, food, crafts and football-but not this year. It is just too risky. The CDC is especially worried about family gathering becoming super spreader events. COVID 19 is on track to ruin Thanksgiving, at least our romantic version of Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, my daughter Cece and I are driving out to Denver to see Maude and Will. Maude is my middle child and it has been a year since I have seen her. What I am looking forward to the most is spending time with Cece, Maude, her partner Will and their dog Sparky -not eating Turkey and stuffing but spending time with family. The girls have always loved going to the Mall of America to do some Black Friday shopping, but not this year even if we were back in Minnesota the malls are not going to open like before.

So what does it mean to be thankful when everything about Thanksgiving has been stripped away? What is left? Perhaps,

instead of Thanksgiving 2020 let’s think of it as Giving Thanks 2020. Giving thanks is an act of not just praising God for all we have - but to acknowledge that it is God who has given us all that we have. God is the source of all our bounty. This is what the Israelites were reminded of again and again.

Throughout October we have been journeying with the Israelites as they wander in the desert, as found in the book of Exodus. In November we journey with them into the promise Land. In Deuteronomy 8:7-9 Moses tells them that they will be going into a land where they will “eat food without any shortage.” There will be abundant water, grains, vines, fruit trees, rocks for building, metal for weapons and tools. In verse 10 Moses lays out for them to whom they are to be grateful: You shall eat your fill and Bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.”

To help us remember to whom we should be thankful, I offer this prayer.

Let us pray, God, we thank you for all your blessings: for heath and strength and daily food; for people who have entered our lives and blessed us with their presence; for all who have long been part of our lives; and for love and grace you have poured out on us so we can be a blessing to others.

AMEN

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Owatonna United Methodist Church

815 E University Street

Owatonna, MN 55060

507-451-4734
Worship: 9:00 a.m.
Sunday School at 10:00 a.m.

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