A Thanksgiving Letter

For the first time in my life I will be facing a real white and cold winter. Major adjustments await my family. We are not quite there yet and darkness has already settled in. The days are shorter and will continue to grow shorter. It is already super cold and will continue to be colder. It looks like the only way I will survive the below zero temperatures will be if I hunker down. 

I am not a dramatic person. This is a major shift in my life. I need to revisit my theological understanding of the resurrection because this winter predicament highlights that there is a thin line between hope and despair. Edmund Steimle, From Death to Birth, (Fortress Press: Philadelphia PA, 1973), used to say that “hope is always held close to the things that seem to deny it.”                                                                             

Resurrection is a lot harder to embrace in the winter than it is in the summer. I desire to be faithful to my Christian faith that is rooted in the resurrection of Christ, but I am wondering how I am going to be able to sustain my belief in the resurrected life in face of this dark, white winter. 

My Christian belief has become broken, causing the thin line between hope and despair to be more tangible than ever before. But I am stubborn and I choose to embrace the grace of God in the midst of despair. I choose to pay attention to the birds singing and the children playing. Even the terrifying sounds of the wind against my window are translated into melodies of hope by my stubbornness. 

When my life today piles up with difficulties, I rise to the challenges. Death is all around me, but so is life. Pain and suffering is all around me, but so is beauty. Like the phoenix, I regenerate and come alive again. I choose to find new ways to think and be in this world because it demands new ways of freedom end engagement. 

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the new ways the Spirit of God works. I celebrate the fresh expressions of life all around me. I celebrate the great freedom to live a life that witnesses to God’s love and grace. 

This Thanksgiving, I invite you to demonstrate the power of faith and make a positive difference in your world. Make it a better place. 

In Christ our life is open. Our hearts are open. Our imaginations are alive. Consider the possibilities and give thanks. Believe in the resurrection and God’s interventions in the word. Incarnate His love in all that you do.

I am filled with gratitude and joy for you. Together, we are able to accomplish abundantly far more than any of us could ever accomplish alone. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. 

Be blessed!

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Happy Thanksgiving to, Maricarmen! Indeed, you have many challenges in your new location, but I know your faith is strong and your love of God is without limit, so I know you will grow and learn. I am thankful today for (finally) my daughter and granddaughter are getting their lives together. The death of their husband and father really threw them both into depression and some bad choices. Both are in counseling/recovery and are thriving. God is good!