Gratitude and One Prayer – A Thanksgiving Peaceful Pause with Musician Beth Schafer
How is this Thanksgiving different from all other Thanksgivings? It has been a tough nine months. We have endured so much pain as a community, country, and globe. People are struggling so deeply with homelessness, unemployment, isolation, illness, death, not to mention political polarization.
There is legend told of God sending out angels to gather the complaints of the people. The angels traveled throughout the world and they returned with baskets overflowing — human beings were unhappy, they had so many complaints.
And then the angels were sent on a second mission – to gather the thanks of the people. Yet after scouring the earth, passing by every land and every living soul, their mission was disappointingly fruitless. Their baskets came back empty.
You see, as human beings we have a fundamental flaw, we see the bad more readily than we see the good, we complain more than we offer gratitude. Robert Louis Stevenson once observed that “a person who has forgotten to be thankful has fallen asleep in the midst of life.”
Thanksgiving calls us to look out, to look up, and to offer gratitude.
Beth Schaffer sums up our liturgy so simply and beautifully. “There are four types of prayers. There are ‘please’ prayers. There are ‘wow’ prayers. There are ‘oops’ prayers. And there are ‘thank you’ prayers.
Take time to pause and offer thanks.
Take time to pause and think about the empty seats around our tables and remember and honor those who are not there.
Take time to offer “One Prayer,” Beth Schafer’s new song composed for this moment and this time.
All of us together are ultimately praying one prayer. Whether we are worshippers or worship leaders; whether we are Americans or living anywhere across the globe; no matter who we are, no matter what we do, no matter whom we love, if we can just be one on this day with one prayer and one heart – we will move toward our collective goal. Let us bring peace. Let me bring hope. Let us give strength. Open our souls to love.
Here’s a link to a recorded version of One Prayer –
Image by Timothy Eberly.