November lends itself to thankfulness… regardless of faith, we come together
As days grow shorter, our appreciation for light is such that we even reset our clocks to hold onto every bit of sunshine. With most of the year behind us and travel plans ahead, we prepare for this month’s festivities. Soon homes near and far will fling doors wide open to welcome familiar faces and receive embraces of loved ones for the holidays.
Author O. Henry wrote
“There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.”
While Thanksgiving has an American pedigree and history, the giving of thanks is not limited to these shores. Although the Pilgrims gave thanks and shared a meal with the Wampanoag, countless peoples across the centuries and around the globe have expressed their gratitude for plentiful grain harvests of barley, rye, wheat, rice, and corn. The earth produces abundantly more than is planted within it, and this is a cause for rejoicing.
Because Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, it provides opportunities for those of different faiths (or no faith) to gather together and be thankful. In many ways it is the easiest holiday for diverse faith traditions to find common ground in gratitude. Although peculiar to our national history, this holiday welcomes immigrants from other cultures to give thanks in ways authentic to their own background, harking back to its origins in Plymouth, MA.
That blending of traditions around one table is reflected in the dishes themselves. Maybe traditional Thanksgiving fare finds itself adjacent to comfort foods of that culture. Or maybe those foods begin a cross-cultural fusion: sticky rice stuffing, tandoori turkey, or pumpkin spice mashed potato latkes anyone? Around such a table “E pluribus unum” lives:
- “Out of many, gratitude makes us one.”
- What are you grateful for?
- How will you share it?
Rev Sybrant has a Masters in Divinity, Social Work, and a Doctor of Ministry. For more information, visit us at 15050 SW Weir Road, www.murrayhills.org | 503-524-5230