GIVING THANKS IN AMERICA, 2012
Let us give thanks for love this day, and for the warmth of love that surrounds us at all times. Let us give thanks for the food and shelter that we have, and for the security that this provides for us without thinking. And let us at the same time remember that the first Thanksgiving was about the harvest, about gratitude for the abundance of the Earth that provided sustenance in an unknown land during a precarious time of establishing a foothold for life.
We, who have much, must, at the same time, recognize those who have little or nothing. We must recognize the price that is paid and that was paid in the earliest days by those native peoples who were dispossessed, even while our forefathers celebrated and gave thanks. And we must recognize the current dispossession of the Earth who, despite her gifts of food and shelter, remains, for most, dispossessed of that essential respect and deep caring that is part of a profound relationship with one who is loved.
We, who have much, must consider the Earth at this time in our Thanksgiving, not just as the provider of the food we eat, but as the being of splendor, graciousness, and love that has nourished and cared for her children through millennia of indifference and neglect. And we must consider those who are currently dispossessed of their lands, their homes, and their livelihoods, both here and abroad. Our deeply felt inclusion of these others begins to heal the history of neglect, based on the separation of ourselves from others whom we disregard, even while we celebrate.
Thanksgiving need not be about food, but about the true relationship of brother to brother and sister to sister, about the gratitude for the love of the Creator who asks that we live in the image of the Divine. In this asking, we are called at this Thanksgiving time to step forward into our true place of gratitude which can never be about what we, individually, receive, or about what our individual circle of family and friends receive, but about what all receive.
If we reflect on these things at this time, we will be grateful for the home that we have, for the land that we live in, for the people we love and who love us. Yet, since we are part of a greater wholeness that includes the beloved Earth and all beings, today we will also seek to acknowledge that wholeness, to acknowledge it and to hold it in our hearts as we give thanks for the sacred life that joins us with All.