This will be in the November issue of the Fishkill UMC newsletter.
If you are of my generation, then you are aware of a particular 18 ½ – minute song that speaks of a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. (I wrote of that particular song and my own Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat in Thanksgiving, 2006 | Thoughts from The Heart on The Left (wordpress.com) – https://heartontheleft.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/thanksgiving-2006/.)
When I was teaching in the bootheel of Missouri and singing in the local UMC choir, the music director would, as Thanksgiving approached, express her disdain for what she called “the corn song” (It’s #694 in the hymnal but don’t ask me why she called it the “corn song.”).
When I think of Thanksgiving and its associated songs, I think of “We Gather Together.”
Thanksgiving may be a time of football, of cooking turkeys in many ways, and of parades but it is also, at least for me, a time of family gatherings.
But while we gather with our friends and families, there are those who cannot gather with their families. Perhaps, they are college students or service personnel who cannot go home for the short Thanksgiving holiday. Others cannot go home because, for whatever reason, their families have shunned them.
It has been part of Methodism that we welcome the strangers. The founders of Methodism went to the prisons, to the fields, to the mines to bring the Good News to the people. These first efforts brought a sense of hope and thanksgiving to the people who had been forgotten or castoff.
Before we turn our attention to the end-of-the-year financial statements, before we begin traveling to be with our family and friends, and before the day of turkey, parades and football arrives, we should think about how we can continue what the members of that first Methodist movement and revival did and reach out to those who cannot do what we can.
Let this be the year that others can enjoy that Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat and give them something for which they can be thankful.