Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Then Our Lives Would Be Thanksgiving

I'm sitting here, trying to cobble together a sermon for this evening's service, and needed a break. And what better way to take a break than come visit over here and catch up with all you blog-o'-riffic folks? So, pull up a chair if you're looking for a coffee break! I'll be sticking with the non-caffeinated root beer, but you're welcome to whatever you can find.

First, the update. Michigan 39, OSU 42. A rough day for us Wolverines, but as David said below - what a game! Of course, that score is much easier to swallow after the BCS standings came out on Monday , and Michigan held out at #2. A rematch in the making? We shall see after this weekend, but its awfully great knowing that OSU wasn't able to knock us out of the top two position. Plus, Troy Smith threw an interception and had at least one fumble. All in all, not as bad a day as it could've been.

Of course, all of this was overshadowed by the death of Bo Schembechler. As an Ann Arbor kid, Bo was a household name. He and Woody Hayes made the Michigan-OSU rivalry what it is today: such a great rivalry that it was actually mentioned in a book prayer and public ritual for Liturgy 1 class. His passing was sad news indeed, and the number of folks who gathered to say goodbye and give thanks for the ways he touched their lives was a testament to a life well lived.

Which brings me back to my sermon for this evening. From the time we are toddlers, we're taught that saying "Thank you" is a response to a completed action. In this life-as-clergy, I go to many more funerals than I probably otherwise would. One of the frequent themes of burial services is giving thanks for the life of the person we remember. Saying thanks is our response to the completed action of their life - gratitude that may have been missing from someone's life.

Why do we wait so long to say thank you? I think because we're out of practice. Last Saturday's game - a three hour, forty-five minute blip in history - was decades in the making. Hundreds of guys spent hundreds of hours practicing over the years to make that game happen, and not a single one of them would imagine wearing that Wolverine jersey without putting energy and passion into the dream of having the heart of a champion. Why do we as Christians think a heart of thanksgiving will come more easily?

A heart of thanksgiving takes skill and practice. It takes patience to filter out the anxiety that clouds our vision. It takes wisdom to see the blessings of God in our lives. It takes faith and generosity to recognize our abundance, and share it with others. It takes the work of the Spirit.

So, here is my first Thankful Heart practice drill, in no particular order: music, the church I serve, Luke, families and in-laws that enjoy one another, friends both near and far, Laura on her birthday, the blog world, coffee, dark chocolate, sweaters, cookbooks, and photographs.

Oh! And, I'm thankful for de-lurking week! Join in the fun, and leave a note!


will smama said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

the reverend mommy said...

have a blessed and happy thanksgiving!

Mrs. M said...

This was wonderful.

I enjoyed the game last week too, although (respectfully) from the other side of the horseshoe.

I really appreciated what you said, though, about the work that goes into cultivating a spirit of Thanksgiving.

ppolarbear said...

I admit it freely and openly: I root for the Illini and whoever is playing Michigan. I can't help it. I was born to that family, and then sealed the deal by going to Illinois and then MSU. BUT, It was a great game, and I do feel bad about Bo....he was a legend.

It took me 10 frustrated moments to figure out where the line that you used for the title of this post, and when I remembered, I was like "ah...I love that hymn too."

Susie said...

Yay for visitors.

Oh, and PPB... in my head, the hymn was going to be more involved in the post...