‘Twas Thanksgiving morning, and all through the land,
the turkeys were roasting, all snug in their pans.
They sure won’t be lonely, upon the old table,
‘cause there’s plenty of food to cram while we’re able.
There’s stuffing, of course, and bread to be buttered,
Potatoes to mash, while grandmothers mutter.
There’s carrots and green beans and squash of some kind,
And three kinds of corn, if you don’t mind.
All swiftly prepared from recipes old,
Or maybe a new dish, if we are bold.
We’ll utter a prayer, and then off to the races,
And no one will stop, ‘till we’ve filled all our faces.
Just when we think that we’re ready to die,
The door swings wide open, and out comes the pie.
There’s pumpkin and pecan, and apple and cherry,
If calories are counted, it’s really quite scary.
When all’s said and done, and we’re stuffed to the gills,
We’ll roll from the table, and look for the pills,
There’s always a wise guy, one in the bunch,
Who’ll crack a wry smile, and say, “What’s for lunch?”
And then, as the football games drone on and on
Our eyes start to droop and we all start to yawn,
We read through the ads for that Friday called Black,
That seek to convince us they have what we lack.
When into my mind comes a thought, a surprise,
And slowly but surely I soon realize
That a hunger is growing, deep in my soul,
But this is a hunger no food can make whole.
It’s a hunger for justice, for peace in this world,
A deep-seated longing, that each boy and girl
Can have what they need; nobody left out.
It’s a message from Jesus, of that there’s no doubt.
We’re called to be thankful; we’re called to be glad.
We’re called to rejoice in all that we have.
But we’re also invited to open our lives,
To share ourselves deeply, both husbands and wives,
And brothers and sisters, close friends and strangers,
We’re called to remember that child in the manger.
So as we give thanks for each gift from above,
I pray we remember the best gift is love.
–Bishop Paul Erickson, Thanksgiving 2016