How many sermons or homilies are remembered for more than a week or even a day or hour. There was one that I have remembered for over twenty years and I would like to share it here from memory.
It was an ecumenical Thanksgiving Service in a Catholic Church in La Costa, California. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that Americans of all Creeds can come together to worship in unity. On this particular day a Rabbi was chosen to give the sermon. What follows is how I remember it.
Today we thank God for the goodness and blessings he has given us all our lives and especially during the last year. Then we will go to our homes and enjoy a great feast of traditional foods with additions from our own cultures. We will thank and congratulate the cook and she deserves all our praise. Tomorrow will be the real test for the cook, however. A new turkey from the store comes with instructions or is suited to the printed recipes. Tomorrow, however the cook will look at a picked over skeleton with pieces of meat and skin hanging here and there. It is the cook who can produce a tasty and appetizing meal from these remnants who will deserve the prize.
So it is in life. We can raise our eyes and smile as we thank God in the good days. It is the times when we are hit with unexpected pain, fear, sadness or loss that our faith comes to a bitter test. Can we then look at God in trust, yes, even gratitude? These are His faithful children filled with the strength that comes only from His grace. Happy Thanksgiving… in fair weather and foul.