Tuesday, November 21, 2006

FOR WHAT IS THIS HOLIDAY?

This posting is one of a week-long series I am calling "A Thanksgiving Primer." Look for this photo/icon as you scroll thru bikehiker for more resources on gratitude.

BOILED DOWN HOLIDAY? Boiling down the essence of a particular holiday is dangerous. By the time one distills it down to one thing, it has lost is savor, it's flat, one-dimensional. One will have a point, but missed it in the making. It's true, "Jesus is the reason for the season" of Christmas, but no one but a few Grinches are going to reduce that robust holiday down to its singular flash point.

NFL FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER? Thanksgiving, like other holidays, is multi-faceted, a layered tradition with rich tributaries. But, like other holidays, commercialism tends to twist or bury primary meanings and overwhelm traditions. For example, who would ever have imagined eating Thanksgiving dinner in front of the TV, watching an NFL game? Two American traditions collide and the primary one yields.

I will likely watch some of the NFL action on Thursday. I also hope we play some football. But I was thinking of the tendency to lose primary meanings and spiritual growth opportunities of Thanksgiving when I penned the following poem.


This holiday is for all that we
Take for granted,
Assume as a given,
Absent-mindedly overlook,
Claim as our God-given right.

This holiday if for all those we
Unnecessarily criticize,
Agitate with our demands,
Impatiently rush,
Regularly impose upon.

This holiday is for all that we
By-pass in our drivenness,
Go out of our way to avoid,
Carelessly forget,
Thoughtlessly leave out.

This holiday is for all things we
Receive as gracious gifts,
Share as common ground,
Express as transcendent grace,
Return in praise to God.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your tasteful comments and/or questions are welcome. Posts are moderated only to reduce a few instances of incivility.