November 26, 2020

​For many people this year, Thanksgiving will be very different and hold new meaning, especially those who are isolating themselves from greater family gatherings. In these appointed hours, Thanksgiving Day and for that matter, Christmas Day may seem like a time of scarcity - a lonely and fallow time in the midst of the most fallow of times. We know this is largely due to the highly infectious COVID-19. Yet, God has gifted us with ways to well up treasured memories of past gatherings, memories filled to the brim with faith, family, and friends, memories where at least one person lavished us with loving kindness! We know these as times we’ve checked in with each other and discerned what was needful and helpful for the other person; times we discovered where we might offer assistance. For me the memories will be of fried turkey and fried tater tots, homemade yeast rolls, home-grown green beans, jelled cranberry concoctions,
and various renditions of apple and pumpkin pies. Of course I cannot forget the infamous lumpy mashed potatoes that just never seemed to cream. And then there was the luscious thick and dark chocolate cake that didn’t disappoint; yet one was mindful to watch out for the toothpicks imbedded in it. In the food category I’m going to miss the potatoes and chocolate cake the most because my mother made them. As I write this, I remember how each and every one of these foods surely evoked the most interesting of conversations at the table, ones that deeply bound us together in ways we would have never imagined. They seem most precious in
moments of solitude… Today I give thanks for the Thanksgiving experiences God has given to me and my joyful, wacky, and somber remembrances of them. During these Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Days, I’m starting a new tradition. Do you know what I’m going to do? Rather than pluck a turkey, I am feathering tender and plump imaginary turkey with a different word of gratitude, even down to the very last feather!!! I am… 

This past Sunday several folks at Bethania shared their thanksgivings with the congregation. They follow:
I am especially thankful for the Lord's mercy. His grace and comfort this past year have brought me peace.

I am thankful for my friends, family, a loving church and a God who is always listening.

I am thankful for my family; good health; and a brighter outlook on the life ahead.

I am thankful for:
My Family
My Health
And the Lord Jesus Christ who has given me these things.

"Why do I thank thee?...let me count the ways"...for your grace, for bees that buzz and birds that fly...memories of loved ones and times together...the love and support of family and friends...dedicated teachers and first responders...our church family that worked to " keep the lights on "and provided us with worship opportunities during these difficult times...our music...the sun in the morning and the moon and stars and all the wonders of our world...and the list goes on... 

I am most thankful for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Family, friends, and my church. My faith also. And thanks to our pastoral staff.

As I prepare for winter and for additional focus on self-care and care of my house, I look forward to a revival of the heart. Through my ups and downs, despite my woes, the Lord has been good to me. He helps me bear my troubles. A few years ago I was asked to paint these words on canvas for a friend. “You can always, always, always find something to be thankful for.” Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1


Judy M. Knopf
Interim Pastor

Bethania Moravian Church

Thanksgiving and Christmas Thoughts

Bethania Moravian Church

HS. Pope ©