A time to give thanks (November 2018)

In just three weeks, it will be Thanksgiving time again. We’ll all be reminded of how important it is to thank God for our blessings throughout the year.

This week, though, I’ve been thinking thankfully about all of the different people who do things for our meeting, quietly and without any fuss, not expecting to be recognized or even thanked for what they do.

I’m not just talking about our meeting officers and the people who serve on committees, although our meeting wouldn’t function without them!
I’m thinking about the dozens of tasks, large and small, which are being done all the time in the background, often without being noticed.

How do you thank the people who spent many hours this month cutting up trees that were knocked down by the hurricane, toting brush out to the woods, and splitting the trunk into firewood?

Or how do you thank the people who collect toys, school supplies and health care items for the 100 shoeboxes we will pack and ship this month?

Here in our own community, COAT provides critically-needed food for people who have run out of money, or who have fallen between the cracks. People in our meeting bring the food every month in anonymous plastic bags and paper sacks, and other people take it all to COAT – all without expecting any thanks.

Every year, volunteers decorate the meetinghouse for Christmas, and with even less thanks, store the decorations away in January.
And who thanks the people who faithfully send cards out to cheer our homebound and sick friends? Or the people who volunteer to do child care in the nursery so that parents can relax and pay attention to the worship time?

Almost everyone enjoys the fellowship meals we all enjoy. But who thanks the person who orders the plates and cups and re-stocks the coffee and napkins? And the person who did the thankless task of staying to the very end of a meal and washed and put away the very last few dishes and took out the trash?

Other Friends bring fresh flowers, or dried arrangements, to decorate the worship room. And did you ever ask who waters the poinsettias at Christmas time and the lilies at Easter?

Some people speak faithfully at worship. Others give a warm greeting to everyone as they arrive on Sundays. Others teach classes. Each person’s labor of love contributes to the whole picture, and helps to make us a loving and spiritual community.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned even a small fraction of all of the different jobs that get done, and you’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned any names here.

Just this once, give thanks for all of the people who pray, and listen, and make music, and give of their time, talents and treasure – not to be praised, but as their way of loving God and their neighbor.

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