Days of Heaven

It is no mistake.  Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year.  Thanksgiving Day, for me, ends one spiritual year and starts a new one.  This day, set aside for giving thanks, is the proper response to a life well-given from God.

As much as I relish Thanksgiving I have no taste for Christmas. At least not the Christmas that is now cradled in commercialism. Bah-humbug and then some!

As I sat in a restaurant last night waiting for an order to go, I heard, in the background, Christmas carols being played with elevator trance-like mantra-ese. O Little Town of Bethlehem has now become cool jazz! The angels of the big-screen bar TV announced the coming of a Savior – a Black Friday sale.  Outside the window I could see streets lined with wreaths, decorative lights and people scurrying about in cars, driving into the silent night of sales.  Bah-humbug, squared!

Christmas aside, my life, stuffed with good things, is something to give thanks for. Here is a short list of what I am grateful for …

The colorful and cuddly afghans my mother knitted for her grandkids.

 My father’s love for music and art and his leadership downloaded into me.

 A paycheck for the last four years.

 Another year of not receiving anything from the government except freedom.

 A God fearing mother and father who continue to serve the Lord.

 My parent’s marriage of 56+ years still going strong.

 My four children, each one healthy and strong

 A great church home; godly priests and friends

 The Common Book of Prayer

The Eucharist: the body and blood of my Lord

 A car to use, a bed to sleep in, food to eat.

 Recovery from a rear-end car accident.

 And, the Exceptional Country I live in:  freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from dictatorship, freedom from religious oppression, freedom from strife, freedom to work and pay my way, freedom to become.

The good news of Jesus Christ, the Gospel:

God has dealt directly with evil (anti-creation, anti-love, destroyer of God’s good space, time and matter) thru the death and resurrection of His son.*

 Death, the final enemy, has been dealt a death blow by Jesus Christ:  “One short sleep past, we wake eternally; and death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.” John Donne*

 Tomorrow begins another year of my spiritual journey, a journey which will prayerfully take me past the road-stops of greed, self-pity and shallowness into the fully sated days of heaven.

*see N.T. Wright’s book, Evil and the Justice of God, IVP books, copyright 2006

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