Thursday, November 25, 2010

What we celebrate at Thanksgiving

We should celebrate when we have reason to give thanks.

But, we should also be-wary that what we celebrate as "good" in our life may be the result of something disproportionately bad in the life of another.

A few years ago I visited Plymouth Rock with my wife. I was surprised - at first - to see a statue commemorating the genocide of Native American Indians, as the result of English persons coming to colonize this New England (now America.)

I remembered the stories today and found this link from the news this week - here.

Some of the persons that I work and live with might be troubled by my remembrance of the Wampanoag today. I am not troubled by that. We need to remember them. I think too many persons too quickly pass over and forget stories of violence. To fail to remember the stories is to fail to remember the history of violence that has been part of who "we" are as Americans - and who we are as humans.

When we fail to remember the violence of our past, we are more prone to repeat it.

One of the most compelling issues of the Christian conviction is found in the claim of the Christian Gospel. That God. Being Human. Submitted Godself as Humanself, to death. To become Victor over Violence by becoming Victim to Violence.

There is powerful implications to God's Holiness characterized in these ways in the Hebrew Scripture, most prevalent in the 11th Chapter of the book of Hosea.

My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man-- the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.

At Thanksgiving - I celebrate many, many, many reasons to "give thanks" in my personal, family, friendship, professional life!

But, I humbly remember that my life's joy - when it has come at the cost of other persons lives, honor, dignity - is not "fair" - just, equitable or Christian.

So, at this Thanksgiving - I give thanks, but I mourn, too - with others - for the failures of human persons to extend goodness and charity, kindness and benevolence to others.

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