Growing up in a different religion our family celebrated Thanksgiving differently. I grew up in what sometimes seems like a quieter, safer time. We did not have the technology that is everywhere now. Our family had one tv, no computers, no internet, no cel phones, no IPads, no texting, no twitter. We got together at my Aunt Juanita's house because she had the biggest dining room. It could seat 20 and we still ate in shifts and all day long. It was a time for generations to mix and we often met relatives we did not know we had. There was no church service, no grace before the meal. The Aunties all cooked for days and the kitchens were overflowing with dishes we did not have the rest of the year. This feast meant something to us because our usual fare was much simpler. The 'big' kids were expected to help with the 'little' kids and we all gathered at the end of the day to watch old home movies.
Christian Science has a been a blessing to me from the beginning. I found a religion that presents God the way I always thought He was, the Good Shepherd, a loving Father Mother, comforting, guarding and guiding His flock. I did not really understand much of what I read in our textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. But I loved what I could understand, began to learn the spiritual interpretation of The Lord's Prayer, and had some healings. It was the people I meet at church who impressed me with their friendliness, their inclusiveness, their willingness to let me progress at my own pace. I also fell in love with the hymnal and sang out during the services, more than once with tears streaming down my face.
That first Thanksgiving celebrated among my new friends began with attending a church service where time was set aside to express gratitude, audibly or silently. Then we gathered at someone's house and I remember sitting with my infant son watching a brand new show called Sesame Street.
The meal was delicious and it began with a grace and a moment for silent thanksgiving. I felt so peaceful and happy.
This year will be a bit different as some of my household travel to visit with relatives in Texas. I will be staying here where two of my 'grands' are attending Principia College. One is not able to fly home for the Thanksgiving break so she will join me here and we will have so much fun in our fluffy pajamas watching tv specials, listening to holiday music and preparing a very traditional feast. The other 'grand' has invited several friends, who also could not fly home, to join us and it should be lots of fun. His girl friend and her Mom from Saint Louis will be busy helping prepare all our favorite foods. Her Mom is Jewish and this year Hannukah begins on our Thanksgiving Day. I look forward to blending traditions.
So much good in my life. Such richness. Great blessings. But right at the top of my list is finding Christian Science and the spiritual growth I have experienced the past 40+ years.
I can only echo the Golden Text from our Thanksgiving Bible Lesson:
O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.