October 24, 2017

Thanksgiving Prayer 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Prayer of Thanks

Thank you, Lord,
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…

For life itself, the gift I take most for granted.

For my baptism and introduction to the Gospel when, as an infant, all I could do was trust.

For my family and my ancestors.

For the blessing of being born and raised in a good, prosperous, and free land, as part of a generation that lacked for little.

For an incredible variety of friends and experiences over the years.

For the many ways you protected me during the foolishness of my youth.

For guiding my steps, though I have been almost totally clueless when it comes to making choices in my life; somehow a way has always appeared before me.

For my teachers, formal and informal, who have been second only to my family in shaping my life.

For a spiritual awakening in my teen years that kept me from being a statistic.

For my family — my wife, children, and grandchildren — in whom my heart delights and for whom it aches and breaks and prays each day.

For baseball, game of my life. (And oh merciful Redeemer, for the 2016 Cubs!)

For the Marx Brothers, Bogart, The Wizard of Oz, Woody Allen, It’s a Wonderful Life, and all the characters I’ve met and alternate worlds I’ve entered through darkened rooms.

For music, joy of my life.

For Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and all my muses.

For a calling to ministry, the never-ending well of the Bible from which to teach, and the many opportunities to serve that have come my way.

For all the churches that taught me how to be a pastor more than I taught them how to be congregations.

For Luther, in all his tenderness and storminess, and his unyielding focus on Christ.

For Eugene Peterson, Henri Nouwen, N.T. Wright, and my brother Michael Spencer — faithful guides in the post-evangelical wilderness.

For the life-affirming privilege of working with the dying and their families with a team of remarkable people.

For hearing me when I pray Kyrie Eleison at the beginning of each worship service, and for Word and Sacrament to nourish me with all pilgrims as we journey on.

For one true holy catholic and apostolic church — even when it looks hopelessly shattered in a billion pieces.

For grace beyond measure, hope without end, and a Savior to whom none can compare.

Happy Thanksgiving, 

Chaplain Mike

• • •

And finally, God bless the Spencers, the Dunns, the Zehners, the Dyes, the Jepsens, the Stallards, and all the other families who have lent their loved ones to give their talents to working and writing for Internet Monk.

And thanks to our community of readers and commenters. I’m grateful for each and every one of you.

Comments

  1. And also I you.

  2. Amen and Selah

  3. William Martin says:

    May God bless you exceedingly through the year and give you the words right as you need them….w

  4. A happy Thanksgiving to all.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      DEAD BIRD DAY.

      (Memories of carpooling to the Bay Area with a small-press comic artist and hearing his Dead Bird Day jokes for eight hours up I-5…)

    • Christiane says:

      The groaning table,
      abundance overflowing,
      bids us ‘Be Thankful’

  5. Thanks, Chaplain MIKE.
    This is a beautiful post which prompts me to recall a thousand things I want to give thanks for in my own life. I am beginning to realize the NEED to give thanks, that is something I learned long ago from a Jewish friend, whose young son had died, and it was during that first year afterward, she continued to lay the table and light the candles as before ……. she shared with me that she needed to honor and affirm that which mercifully sustained her now

    For her, maybe for all of us, giving thanks is also an acknowledgement of blessing that sustains us even in the worst of times. Grief is an uncharted territory. The peace of God IS beyond all understanding when it comes to us in the midst of that kind of pain and we know we are being cared for.

  6. Grateful for you, Chaplain Mike, and Michael Spencer, all the contributors here, for making it a safe place for people in the wilderness. May the Lord help us all.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, and a blessed name day to all the Catherines/Kates reading – St Catherine of Alexandria was martyred on this day in the early 300s.

    Dana

  7. Happy T-Bird Day to the wonderful iMonk community. Very thankful for the posts and opinions shared here, even those I don’t agree with. Thanks for making this a safe place for ragamuffins and wanderers.

  8. Ronald Avra says:

    Blessings to all and thanks for all from an overstuffed brother.