It didn't matter whose house we celebrated Thanksgiving at, the day always started early. The turkey was always in the oven before breakfast and it seemed to cook for hours, filling the house with its delicious aroma. When we were at my favorite grandmother’s house the aroma of turkey joined with the smell of the mincemeat and pumpkin pies that had been baked the day before. It seemed like grandma must have gotten up in the middle of the night to get everything done. My mom and my aunt always helped but grandma was in charge. If we got to her house early enough, I got to help make lefse.
For those of you not familiar with lefse, it is a Scandinavian goodie, flat like a tortilla but made of potatoes and cream, rolled thin and cooked on a griddle. Once they are done you spread them with butter, sprinkle sugar on them, roll them up and eat them. Yum!
The smell of Thanksgiving always woke me up early and I would go to the kitchen and join grandma. The kitchen was warm and there was plenty to help with. Sometimes I got to feed the fire in the wood burning stove. Other times I got to peel the potatoes. Sometimes she just wanted to talk as she worked. As the day went on, there was the card table to set up...we kids needed a place to sit too. The table needed to be set and chairs rounded up. Once everything was ready the parade from the kitchen to the dining room began. My mom, aunt and grandma brought the food to the table. The rest of us had enough sense to stay out of the way. We took our places at the table with grandpa at the head and grandma next to him. It always seemed to take a very long time for the food to make it to the kids table, but we knew there was plenty. It's just that the waiting was so hard.
Before we could even think about eating my grandfather would bow his head. We all followed suit. And he would pray. It never mattered what had happened during the year, good or bad, there was always much to give thanks for. Grandpa was never in a hurry when he prayed and there was more than one year we saw grandma nudge him to encourage him to say amen so the food would still be hot. Many of the folks who gathered around that table have joined the church triumphant, grandparents, my parents and my aunt and uncle, grandmas' brother, and sister along with her husband.
Now, just as then, there is much to be thankful for. Some years have been good and others a challenge. But God is still good, and Jesus is still on the throne. Friends and loved ones still join the church triumphant. But we live in the promise that we will see each other again...at a different table. The feast won't smell like turkey or mincemeat pies, at least I don't think so! I can't imagine how big the table will be, or what it might look like. Only that we all have a place.
This has been a challenging year, and it is not over yet. We do not know what 2021 looks like. But God is good, and we are blessed. I have said this many times before. We have been blessed to worship in person since late May. It is always good to gather as a family at the table. I am blessed to work with Matt, Lawrence, Patti, Emily, and John. We have a good team, and we are blessed to not only serve all of you, but especially our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As you gather around your respective tables today, wherever that might be, I wish for you a blessed Thanksgiving. Know that God will continue to walk this crazy journey with us, wherever it leads. He will continue to be sovereign, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He will continue to shower us with His mercy and grace. He will continue to give us the peace that passes all human understanding. He will continue to lavish His love on us. God will be God, and we will be His people, named and claimed. We are indeed blessed.
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W