Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Day 2016

Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”
Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:26-35 

I am very grateful for those brave Dakota people who took it upon themselves last spring to remind us all what we as Native people and people of faith are called to do. We have a responsibility to protect and care for the most vulnerable, for the rare and precious gifts of Creation, the signs of Creator's love in our lives and to peacefully and prayerfully live together. On a day when the truth of who we were in the past has been obscured, and who Indigenous people are now is radically misunderstood or romanticized, I am so thankful for those who have called all nations together for prayer and peaceful resistance in the face of abuse, greed and mysogeny.

Jesus reminds the people to be in relationship with the Author of Creation, Love and Peace. When we go our own ways, folks use violence. When we follow the heart of God we care for the most vulnerable among us - the children, the elders, our women and men, the fragile gifts of Creation. As we gather as families from east and west, north and south, may we give thanks for the people who cared for this precious continent and who continue, despite a violent and selfish culture take responsibility to lead in a different, loving and holy way.

Today I ask God to help me lead in a different, loving and holy way. May we each remember the abundance of gifts we have received in this life, and work for the care and feeding of the most vulnerable among us, including our precious mother earth.

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