Thanksgiving – by the sheer nature of its name – forces us to acknowledge Spirit in the second person, to thank the “thou” that is the Cosmos, or the Cosmos that is the “thou” – Father God, Mother Nature, Gaia, Holy Spirit.
On this one day a year, even atheists are thankful to their lucky stars, fate, Nature, or the Universe for granting them good fortune and helping to guide them through the signposts of life.
Today, we open our hearts, we mind our manners, and to whomever (or whatever) we love – or that loves us – we say “Thank You.”
Today, as millions gather and hold hands around tables for a shared meal to acknowledge this sense of gratitude and to celebrate with a ceremonial feast, we offer up this blessing, honoring Spirit in second person.
As we gather together today, we give thanks and are grateful for all the things we sometimes take for granted.
Our bodies and our health.
The health and well-being of our families.
The love and support of our family and friends.
The interconnected community in which we live and thrive.
All of our unfolding and new growth.
All of our milestones and victories and success.
As well as the obstacles we’ve overcome and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.
Today, we are thankful just for the ability to spend time together around the table for a moment without the distractions of our phones and screens.
We are thankful to just be here in the presence of family — to love and be loved — and enjoy a wonderful meal.
We are also grateful.
We are grateful for our ability to give to those less fortunate.
We are grateful to those serving our country and those active in the work of building or rebuilding here and abroad.
To those that have passed on and are unable to be with us today, but from whom we have learned so much.
And to our children and the future generations who will carry on our traditions once we leave this world.
We also ask for blessings.
Bless the hands that have harvested and prepared this meal.
Bless any animals who have given their lives for this meal.
Bless the Earth from which it came.
Bless us as we receive this meal and nourish our bodies.
We ask for renewed strength to navigate this world mindfully, beneficially and sustainably.
That we may be both a beacon and a compass to those in need of an example or guidance.
And that we may leave this world a better place than we found it.
Thank you for the ability to learn and love and laugh and grow.
Thank you for the opportunity to be and to create change in the world, here and now, by changing ourselves.
Thank you for life and for the joyful act of living.
November 26th, 2014 at 7:38 am
[…] Joran Slane Oppelt This is an updated and revised version of the previously published “Thanksgiving Prayer,” with additional material inspired by Matthew Fox. […]