As is so often the case there was an appropriate text but not the obvious one. The Gospel lesson is the story of Jesus healing ten lepers and only one coming back to give praise to God and to say thanks. However, the text I was drawn to was our Old Testament lesson, namely Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7. Jeremiah is not my favourite book of the Bible, it probably isn’t even in the top twenty, but there are parts of of it that grab me every time I encounter them; this is one of those parts.
I am perfectly happy to admit the theme of Thanksgiving or gratitude isn’t obvious in the text but what is obvious is God’s exhortation that the people of Israel accept where they are and live their lives accordingly. There is an odd thing about us humans, many (most?) of us hate the present. We would rather live in the past or the future regardless of the inescapable reality that we can only live in the present. What struck me regarding Thanksgiving and this text is how if we don’t accept where and when we are for what it actually is, we will never be grateful for any of it. If we are always hearkening back to a golden past or looking forward to an equally golden future we will miss all the gold in the present; which is too bad because on present gold is actually real.