When I was a child growing up in New York, more than anything else, Thanksgiving was all about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is the 94th year of the parade, and unlike any other it will be for television audiences only. There won’t be the 2.5-mile parade route; instead, the event will be held in front of the cameras at Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street in New York City. And yet, I still give thanks that albeit in a different manner, the parade will still go on.
We have never lived through a year like this one. When I champagne toasted with loved ones on New Year’s Eve, this was not the year I thought that I was heralding in! Like me, I suspect that you cannot believe that this pandemic began two months later, and here in November it is worse than ever. So, how do we even contemplate sitting at the table of a Thanksgiving feast when more than 250,000 Americans have perished. How do we honor the significance of this holiday, knowing that many are in hospital suffering, families are missing loved ones lost to Covid, and so many Americans throughout our nation cannot put food on their tables?
Saint Paul writes in First Thessalonians: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Maybe, just maybe, we who have not been affected as adversely as others by this virus are the ones now called upon to give thanks to God for those who perhaps right now are overwhelmed and cannot. Maybe, those of us who have not become sick with Covid, and have not suffered the loss of a family member or our employment, can at our Thanksgiving tables hold those who have suffered in our hearts and prayers. And with me, imagine that if that prayer becomes through us a tangible and grace-filled response to those in need.
God is always good, and so we must be as well. A Blessed and safe Thanksgiving…