Gratitude for the Aliens
The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.” You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house. ~ Deuteronomy 6:8-11
For Thanksgiving week, some Bible passages on giving thanks and gratitude.
Gratitude itself is know to be the thing that leads to joy and happiness. As I've shared before: studies show that happiness doesn't lead to gratitude. Instead, gratitude leads to happiness. That gratitude here among the Israelites, who have been brought out of slavery in Egypt, is the first thing, and that leads to celebration. Celebration with each other and celebration with the aliens who live among them. Aliens among us is a resonant issue for many of us, as immigration takes center stage in our political discourse. But aliens among us this time of year sometimes may even feel like those sitting around the Thanksgiving table with us. So many have shared that these days their Thanksgiving meal might happen with family that differs politically or ideologically from them. Some may be struggling to find the gratitude as they deal with real fears and pressures. And yet God calls us to celebration. Calls us to give thanks. Calls us to sit with the aliens among us in joy - even those aliens who are closest to us. Calls us to set aside a time for gratitude that we might find joy. So as this week unfolds, what things are you grateful for, even among the pressures you might be feeling this week?
Lord of all joy, let my heart feel gratitude for the abundance you provide. Amen.