I hope you had a good Thanksgiving Weekend. I am using this time between Thanksgiving and Advent to reflect upon the many reasons I have to be thankful. I pray for Thanksgiving joy to permeate each of our lives, not only during the Thanksgiving season, but throughout the year.
I have shared with some of you my “rule of life” for the next several months. Associated with religious orders and focusing on good habits, a “rule of life” is a means that helps us to live the Christian lifestyle with greater intentionality. I have discerned eight actions for my “rule of life” for this time period leading up to the 2019 special called General Conference. During this Thanksgiving season, I am especially drawn to the final action which reads, “Thank God daily for the privilege of serving in this time, place and role.”
In this spirit, I pray the following Thanksgiving Prayer.
“God of all Eternity, you have created everything that was, is and will be. We are called to be your faithful followers in this complex 21st century world. We are not up to this task by ourselves. But you promise to be with us today and every day, leading us each step of the way. Thank you for the privilege of serving you now . . . today . . . in this time in history.
Creator of the Universe, it boggles our minds to know that you offer relationship, forgiveness and transformation to each of us in this beautiful, broken world of yours. You extend love and grace to us wherever we live, whatever our nationality, ethnicity and language. You have placed us in our particular contexts to make a difference in our communities, nation and world. Thank you for the privilege of serving you in the North Alabama Conference.
Triune God, you have called each of us to serve you and others through a variety of roles. Whatever our calling, we need your guidance, grace and strength to fulfill it in ways that please and honor you. In our world of violence, division and distrust help us to be witnesses of your love and peace. Forgive us for the occasions when we mis-step and fail you and others and make us more and more effective in living into the roles you have given us. Thank you for the privilege of serving you in the roles to which you have called us.
May your will be done in all things. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen and Amen.”
Happy Thanksgiving season. I thank God for the privilege of serving as your bishop in this time and place.
North Alabama Conference