Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. It usually meant that serious deadline harvest work was done – so Dad might actually be around. It also was just a simple holiday – a turkey, lots of food, some family, some cards and a football game. I guess it felt like a national day to exhale.
We’ve put some distance between that and us. The marketing machine has moved Christmas up – “Black Friday” nips right on the heals of Thanksgiving. Many families live long distances appart. The 100+ person family gatherings of my childhood are long gone. I can’t help but think that some of the distance we put between ourselves and our families is a reflection of the distance between us and God. Part of the mirror of the law.
But thanksgiving is still called for, becuase Jesus has bridged that distance. The thankful leper came running to Jesus’ feet after he was healed. The gap between us and God has been bridged. We can maintain that distance, like the other 9 lepers and run off to the priests – stay with the law, but we also can give thanks for the Gospel. That distance does not have to grow wider.