It is time to face Thanksgiving Day. This holiday is one in which many of us will eat far too much and enjoy every moment of it. I look forward to the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach dish (whatever it is called), rolls, a whole host of other goodies and of course, PIE! I love pie. There aren't too many pies I don't like. (I won't bore you with the details of those pies, just know that blackberry, pumpkin, apple, cherry, gooseberry, blueberry, blackberry, and a whole lot of others are my favs.)
What I really love about Thanksgiving is spending time with family. It is nice to have Matthew home from Concordia University, Seward. We haven't seen him since mid-August. It will also be nice having Brandon Beckemeyer home. He is away at work most of the time so any time he can make it home is a real blessing. Then Penny's sisters Sue and Stacey (and Stacey's family) will be here. Gathering around the supper table on Thursday will be a real treat. And then to cap it off, there will be great food. Family and food, how much better can it get?
The moment I said that, I knew that there was one way it can get better - to have family gather in another place and celebrate together. The place to gather is the House of the Lord. It would be such a pleasure to be able to worship with family. It isn't often that we as family can gather in one place for a time of worship. But, oh, how I long for that. To be able to lift up our voices in song together, to hear the Word of God together, to receive the Sacrament together - that is truly a time of Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, that won't happen. Family won't be here on Thanksgiving Eve for worship. I will have my wife and kids worshiping but the rest of the family will either be traveling or won't arrive till Thursday. Then they will all leave before the weekend so we won't even have that time together.
But that makes me give thanks for and look forward to another time - the time when we will all gather together around another table. That table is the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in His kingdom. One day, when Christ comes again, He will draw us to Himself. He will welcome us into heaven. And all those who believe in Him as their Savior will enter into that blessed place. And there, gathered around the Lamb's Table, in the presence of Jesus Himself, we will shall join together. Oh, how I long for that time. With all the saints through the ages I pray, "Come, Lord Jesus."
Until then, we will celebrate Thanksgiving with one another when we can. We will miss those who can't be with us - either by distance or by death. We will enjoy the meal. We will share the times together. And we will thank God for one another.
May you have a a blessed Thanksgiving.