All Saints and Thanksgiving Day

300px-Grace1918photographEnstrom Following is a poem about people sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table. For many years I had it tacked to my bulletin board. Each time I read it I think of Thanksgiving dinners enjoyed as a child with my relatives. Coming from a large family, Thanksgiving dinner shared with others always meant several rooms full of card tables and chairs. As a child I felt great anticipation for Thanksgiving Days spent with cousins. Looking around the crowd, there was always a baby or two, several children younger than me and many people older than me.

Can you recall the heads bowed around Thanksgiving tables of years past? How I thank God for my sainted uncles, aunts, father, and grandparents who are now bowing before the throne of God. These are the adults in my life who modeled faith to me. Yes, there were dozens of Christian teachers, pastors and college professors, but these are the adults who had the greatest influence. To the young child watching, they could have modeled many different behaviors on Thanksgiving Day, but they chose to model a heart of prayer, kind conversation that told me of my roots, and an attitude of serving (for some reason they did all the work but the kids got to eat first!!).

This month, on All Saints Day (Nov. 6) and on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24), I will quietly be remembering the saints in my life who served as powerful models of faith for me. They were the “Directors of Children’s Ministry” back then, and I praise and thank God that they had their priorities right, because I was watching. May God bless all your family celebrations in the coming weeks.

Thanksgiving Table
Heads are bowed in silent prayer
at words of grace for all to share.
Silken tresses, braids and bows,
salt and pepper, drifts of snow.
Heads so new the fuzz is there.
Heads grown old, thinning, bare.
Families gather in festive mood
to feast on love as well as food.

-Corinne Adria Bariteau

Polly Wegner,
Dir. of Discipleship

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