Thanksgiving 2020

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro

copyright 2020

THANKSGIVING 2020: We move from one season to the next. This year. Next year. Today. Tomorrow. For whatever the number of days which we are given. None of us knowing what those days will look like. Goodness the way we define goodness has never been guaranteed. Never. Every generation before has endured some sort of suffering, which certainly was not on their agenda, nor planned. The question is how we will each choose to respond and how will we eventually emerge from the aspects of this season which are hard. It will change us. As in all difficulties, though not sent from heaven, God will use it as part of how He molds us. If we will choose to cooperate.

Thanksgiving is a scheduled pause. Thanksgiving has never been about a meal. It has never even been about those with whom we like to gather. It has always been about giving thanks to God during life’s challenges.

Those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving which we have now over-romanticized, did not have it easy. They had come through a horrific winter with terrible losses to illness. They were indeed isolated an ocean away from everything they knew. They were dealing and not always dealing well or fairly with the native peoples who were already long living on the land we now call the United States. There was grief and uncertainty and hardship which surrounded this choice in their imperfections to stop and give thanks to God. To consciously put themselves under Him.

It is extreme opportunity to be able to do Thanksgiving differently this year. To choose to not gather as we have done in the past. To stay more isolated–not because we are afraid or love less, but out of consideration for others. For the unseen contamination we may carry which we cannot see. And in this different time where we consciously choose less busyness, perhaps then we can indeed reflect on God and His very real place in our lives–which will not always look like the blessing we thought we sought.

Holy One, You caused us to be alive in this moment for such a time as this. Keep our eyes steady on You. Help worry and fear to fall to the ground as we come to rest once again in Your sovereignty. This world is passing away and so is each one of us. But this passing–if we will turn, see, recognize and bow to You–is the beginning of all that is to come. For in You, through You and by You, death is leading unto true life. For now, yes, for now, You call us to serve You in the midst and to be that love and mercy to the One You allow to be next to us. With You help let there be only consideration and kindness, caring and respect and appreciation between each other. Help us be so activated into Your Service, Lord, that we dare to be aware so that when You show us another suffering, we are willing and ready for You to give us what to do to help in practical and not just prayerful ways. Holy Spirit, You know what each one needs. Lead us onward to serve one another in Your love. Holy Spirit, You know what each of us is to do and what each is not to do. Help us to hear Your voice. God. Please do bless us every one. Please make Your face shine upon us, be gracious to us and in this hour especially, have mercy on us. Relieve suffering. Stop illness. Comfort and comfort more those who mourn. Relieve injustice–and not just spiritually, but practically. And use us as Your instruments to accomplish Your purposes. We so long to be an authentic nation under You and this done more by how we each choose to be to the one next to us more than anything else. Holy Spirit, we need You. Lead on.

Prayed this day of our Lord, 26 November 2020 in the name of the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

CHECK OUT: ONLY JESUS REMAINS–Reflections for Hurting Hearts at Christmas. Book excerpts posted as blog posts Oct 22 through Jan 6

CHECK OUT: orginal CHRISTMAS worship songs and Audio podcasts of ONLY JESUS REMAINS

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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