My dad says thanksgiving is the best holiday. I agree with him. Thanksgiving is the unpretentious holiday. Easter has it's eggs, Easter bunny and candy. Christmas of course has 'Old Saint Nic and all the commercialism. Thanksgiving has well, you know what I'm saying. It's just not that showy.
This year we had one of our best Thanksgivings. It was very different than what I have experienced most of my life. We were with family, but it was a different kind of family. Sure, all of my immediate family was with us, but there were really no grandparents or cousins. You see, as important as blood family is there is another kind of family that is very crucial.
4 families came together to celebrate Thanksgiving at one of our friends houses in East Texas. It was beautiful to see the backgrounds, ages and perspectives collide for a couple of days. The Murrays have just adopted a little girl while the Roeces and ourselves are continuing to try to figure out how to parent teens. I was able to teach Bryan how to fish. It was truly amazing.
Sitting around the fire there was great discussion. Whether it was about the character of God or simply trying to figure out what makes each other tick, the diverse and heart felt perspective was always engaging.
Sure we had great mesquite smoked turkey, ribs and brisket, but the food wasn't the star. It was the community. My friend Jackie says Americans don't really know what it means to live together in community. She would love for all of us to learn what it's like to live together, not like a monastery but like a mission. A place where people share what they have and reach out to others who are hurting no matter what their religious or spiritual background. I think she's on to something. Maybe we experienced a little piece of that that last few days.
Here's a little caution, community is almost never convenient or comfortable. When we are involved in each others lives it gets messy, time consuming and tiring. But consider the alternative. Aloneness is not God's design. Being one aa Jesus and the Father are one is his design.
So, happy Thanksgiving a little late. May we be people who set aside convenience for community. It's worth it.