Grace and Gratitude
With thanks to the Rev. Sonya Sukalski for this post! -ed.
We accept life’s gifts with grace and gratitude and use them to bless the world.
This piece of the chalice lighting often heard at Starr King School for the Ministry is an easy sentiment to connect to at Thanksgiving. Through the jostling at the dinner table about who says “Grace” and prodding about every person present voicing their gratitude, we try to reconnect to the abundance of harvest time. “Grace” as a word for what we do before a meal (sometimes, perhaps not often enough) has not always retained its meaning as something we enjoy but did not earn.
The apple tree in my back yard reminds me of this and opens doors to the joy of our interdependence. I have to pause to thank the woman who planted and nurtured the tree. I have to thank the workers who laid pipe and keep water flowing so that in times of drought, it was able to have life-sustaining liquid. I ponder the first people to try apples (Eve and Adam?), and know apples were good food. I do very little to this tree- I trim off the branches that break due to the weight of the apples, try to pare back the blossoms or tiny apples so that the branches don’t break, and then sit back and enjoy the shade. Hopefully taking time to notice the beauty of the fruit growing, and praying that I notice when the apples are ready to harvest. In the harvest, I am always limited by the time, help and imagination for products or recipes. There are always more apples than I know what to do with. Seeing this abundance connects me to grace, and helps me appreciate a world of plenty. (more…)