Thoughts on Thanksgiving 2020
As we approach Thanksgiving 2020, I am reflecting on all the reasons I have to be grateful this year. Even in the midst of the really difficult circumstances brought on by the Covid- 19 pandemic, my heart overflows with love for God and those God has chosen to put in my life and praise will continually be in my mouth! (Psalm 34:1)
Though I could not see all of them physically as much as I would have liked this year and we have been separated due to travel and gathering restrictions, I praise God for my family. The relationships that God has brought about by birth and by choice have enriched my life in so many ways, I can’t even begin to capture in words. In addition, I am so thankful for the ways God is allowing me to see dreams realized and pursued in their lives. God is so good. All the time. As I visualize their faces, I call out each by name and thank God for them, asking for continued protection, direction, encouragement, and discernment such that their futures would be filled with abundance of God’s blessing and they would know without a doubt, that God is with them always, even when I am not.
I thank God for all those who are in my life because of my affiliation with South Shore UMC, that includes anyone who is reading these words. You are doing so because you have had some contact with the church. For all the paths that have led to this point, God has been around each and every corner, at the top of every peak, and at the bottom of every valley. And now you are here. I am so excited about and grateful for the opportunity that I have to remind you that God loves you beyond your wildest imagination. He has you reading this letter just so that I could tell you that. You are loved. You are cherished. You are blessed.
It may be hard to embrace those words, and the image of a loving God when so many people are struggling and so many are suffering as 2020 comes to an end. I would suggest that it is precisely times like these when we ask God to help us see God at work even in the midst of the trials that have overwhelmed our country and our world, from sickness, unemployment, food insecurity, school closings, disruption of family life and routines, social upheaval and division, and, even death. When we see people respond to the cries of the hurting, however, we know God is at work. God has used and is using people to be God’s hands, feet, and mouth to meet the needs of those seeking help, justice and mercy. For example, I am grateful for generous donors who helped us raise more than $20,000 for the effort to supply a hot meal to front line workers at area hospitals to encourage them during the Covid crisis. And for others who contributed to the holiday food drive so that church volunteers could shop for and pack boxes of food to donate to needy families in the community.
At the start of the pandemic in March, we pivoted in one week to holding all worship services and other church group gatherings digitally, broadcasting on Facebook and through the online platform Zoom, as well as our prayer call- in line. This was a huge shift for many of us, but we did it and for the nimbleness of our members and their dedication to see that God would continue to be praised and sought in community, I am grateful! I am also thankful for the unanticipated but wonderful blessing we discovered this way. We now are able to include in our ministry, our sick and shut ins as well as many who connect from around the country and even the world. Thank you to all those who have given of their time, talent, gifts and service to help South Shore continue to be a beacon of light and hope in new and innovative ways. God is still on the move and by God’s grace, so are we!
As I write this letter, I am praying for all those who will read it. God sees you and knows who you are and what your specific needs are. Thank God for what God has already done, what’s being done, and what will be done in the future. Regardless of what the circumstances appear to be, God is working things out for your good. (Romans 8). I am joining with you in that prayer or, perhaps for those who are reading this and don’t know how to pray, what to pray, or have the spiritual strength or energy to pray given what they are experiencing these days, I am praying for you. I am confident that God will meet you all in your need, whatever that need happens to be—of mind, body, or spirit.
God bless you all. Even though it will be different this year, may your Thanksgiving still be filled with love and warm thoughts of all for which you are thankful.
In Christ and with gratitude,
Rev. Adonna Reid
P.S. Start your Thanksgiving with worship on our Zoom worship line at 10:00am. (Note the different time. Sunday worship experiences will continue to be at 11:00am). The recording will be uploaded to FB later in the day.
Join Zoom Meeting Link https://umcom.zoom.us/j/91185486852
Meeting ID: 911 8548 6852
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