Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Prayer

"At Thanksgiving," from Walter Brueggemann’s                                     
Prayers for a Privileged People, 2008:

Amid football,
family, and too much food,
we pause quickly and without inconvenience 
to remember and to thank.

We remember ancient pilgrims 
who followed dreams of alabaster cities  
and financial opportunity;

We remember hospitable First Nation people 
who welcomed them, and then lost their land;

We remember other family times
filled with joy and
filled with anxiety, and
old scars still powerful.
We thank you for the US venue of 
justice and freedom, 
and are aware of its flawed reality;

We thank you for our wealth and our safety, 
and are aware of how close to poverty we are 
and how under threat we live.
We gather our impulse for gratitude today, 
grateful to you and to our ancestors, 
grateful to you for our families, 
our health, 
our government, 
our many possessions.
We gladly affirm that 
“All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above,”
But we yield to none in a sense of self-sufficiency, 
our weariness in needing to share, 
our resentfulness of those who take and do not give.
Your generosity evokes our gratitude,
but your generosity overmatches our gratitude. 

We are ready to thank, 
but not overly so; 
We remember our achievements,  
our accomplishments,  
our entitlements,  
and our responsibilities 
that slice away our yielding of ourselves to you.

Move through our half measure of thanks 
let us be, all through this day, 
more risky in acknowledging 
that we have nothing except what you give.

You have given so much--not least your only son.
Gift us the gift of dazzlement and awe
that we may rejoice in our penultimate lives 
and keep you ultimate all the day long, 
relishing the wonder of your self-giving love