A Thanksgiving Message
The Oji-Cree word for October is “pinaahkwiiwi piihsim” or the “the month of falling leaves”. This , I think is so much
more descriptive than the prosaic English “October” or “eighth month”.
October begins with the leaves having reached a glory that was unknown during the spring and summer. Modest green
is replaced with flaming crimson, gold, orange, and yellow. The hills are alive with color. If you stand in grove of birch
trees , the whole world becomes golden with their reflected splendor. Yet by the end of the month, a mere four
weeks later that glory is gone and the trees are left standing as skeletons with the wind whistling mournfully through
bare branches. The gorgeous leaves have been either blown away or reduced to sodden brown masses by the rain or
even early snow.
We are used to the transient glory of the leaves and take it as part of life. Yet we sometimes forget that human glory
is just as transient. Power, wealth, position and prestige are all fleeting…here one moment and gone the next. Jesus
warned us about this saying “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and
where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasurers in heaven, where neither moth nor rust
consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –
What is this treasure? Surely it is the relationships we establish with the Creator, the creation and each other.
We are called to trust and obey the Creator, respect the creation, and love each other.
Recently, a relative and I were visiting. We began to reminisce about the community we grew up in and the people
that we had known there, many of whom are now dead. After we finished talking, I realized that not once did we
mention what any of them had. Instead, we talked about who they were. In other words, we remembered the
relationships they had established with us, their family and friends, and the world beyond.
As we give thanks for God’s many gifts to us, I hope we will remember the things that really matter namely, people ,
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you, Creator God, for all that you give us. We thank you for the gift of the earth and the life which comes from
it. We thank you for the gift of love which produces the blessing of family and friends whose loving care surrounds
us. We thank you for the gift of the church which shows us how to live together as a community in faith. Above all, we
thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus who by his living taught us how to live, by his dying overcame death and by his
rising to life again raises us to the life of your kingdom. Give us, we pray, the gift of your Holy Spirit that we may know
Christ and make him known that we with all your creatures may at all times and in all places give thanks to you in all