Thursday, November 24, 2016

November 24: Wave Breast of Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day, Thanks for Everything

There is the wave breast of Thanksgiving--a catching God's eye with the easy motions of praise--and a time for it.  In ancient Israel's rites for a voluntary offering of thanksgiving, the priest comes before the altar in clean linen, empty-handed.  Into his hands is placed the breast of the slain unblemished ram of consecration:  and he waves it as a wave offering before the Lord.  The wind's knife has done its work.  Thanks be to God.

A wave breast of Thanksgiving.  That's my favorite part of the turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my loyal disciples.  If you're not from the United States, let me explain.  Today (the last Thursday in November) is set aside in this country as a day to celebrate all of the blessings in your life.  I was raised with the story of the first Thanksgiving being a day when the pilgrims of the colonies shared a meal with their Native American neighbors.  It's a quaint origin myth, somewhat based on truth.

However, the real reason we celebrate Thanksgiving, in its present incarnation, is because of a woman named Sarah Joespha Hale.  Ms. Hale wrote a series of editorials during the Civil War, promoting the holiday.  In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be a federal day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

One of my Thanksgiving traditions is running a 5K race in the morning.  I've been participating in this Turkey Trot for over ten years.  This year, I ran it with one of my best friends from work.  It was cold and damp, but my friend was great company.  She was able to keep my mind off the fact that I haven't ran any considerable distance for close to three months.  Sad but true.  But I managed to cross the finish line without needing oxygen.

And then, of course, I attended two Thanksgiving dinners--one with my wife's family and one with my family.  It was a good day, filled with lots of laughter.  I was around people I love.  I got to eat food I love.  Now, I'm sitting in my living room, writing this blog post about gratitude.

I want to take this moment to thank everybody who reads this blog regularly.  I've been doing this for close to seven years.  Over three thousand posts.  That's a lot of angst, misery, and joy.  And you've stuck it out with me, even during the darkest of times.  So, thanks for everything.

Saint Marty is going to bed soon.  The tryptophan is kicking in.

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