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Thanksgiving Blessings

November 24, 2011 by staff 

Thanksgiving Blessings, Millions of us will observe Thanksgiving in some fashion Thursday, whether as an opportunity to be with friends and family, an excuse to enjoy mountains of food, a day to overdose on televised football, or as the kick-off for a season of all-out shopping.

Of course, Thanksgiving began, in both European and Native American traditions, as time to express gratitude for a successful harvest.

All the observances had one thing in common: giving thanks.

We asked Lexington-area faith leaders for the prayers that they will offer up on Thanksgiving Day. Here are some of their responses, which have been edited:

Rabbi Marc Kline, Temple Adath Israel, Lexington: In a religious world, we teach that God created us all. We teach that we are all created in the image of divinity. We do not always agree with what that image might be, but we look to something beyond ourselves and argue that it is to that higher standard to which we grow and mature.

Tradition (the Talmud) teaches that if God prays, this would be God’s prayer, “May it be my will that my mercy may suppress my anger … so that I may deal with my children in the attribute of mercy.”

For Thanksgiving, in the image of God, I pray to emulate God so that we will care for each other compassionately; intentionally acting in love and respect.

Melissa Bane Sevier, pastor, Versailles Presbyterian Church: This week of giving thanks, remind us of the extraordinary gifts of food and shelter, a warm home, a friend. Turn our hearts toward those for whom these gifts are scarce.

Give peace to the grieving, comfort to the sick, renewal to the weary, love to the lonely, and may your people find ways of sharing with those who have little or nothing.

This week, when most of us will have full stomachs, we pray for children who go hungry, for the aged who don’t have the energy to prepare a meal, for those who live in places where food is hard to come by.

May our Thanksgiving be infused with your hope for a world where peace is the norm, where everyone is accepted and appreciated, where the powerful attend to the needy, where love guides the actions of all.

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