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A Thanksgiving Litany

By Adam Kelly - Editor Emeritus | Nov 25, 2020


A particular time, like the bright and shining poetic moments of Camelot, to express gratitude for our own particular circumstances.

It has been my custom for several years now to share with you my own personal litany of Thanksgiving. Looking over these pieces for the last decade reveals just how strikingly repetitive they have been – and Lord, what a blessing that is! My life has not changed in any great dramatic fashion over the past decade; much for which I expressed gratitude then I remain thankful for today.

The glorious wonder of it all is that so much of my own personal litany of Thanksgiving is for things which many would place in the category of the ordinary. But this is a marvelous time to reflect on the ordinary things which make life so full of meaning; so wonderful; things for which I am so grateful.

It is always difficult to express deep and heartfelt emotion through words alone. I will try this day with these of mine to express thankfulness to a merciful Creator for my continued existence in His world.

Family and freedom are ordinary words . . . except for those who cannot now experience those blessings. And so, Lord, this day I give You thanks for the priceless privileges which are mine as an American citizen . . .The freedom to speak, to write, to think, without government interference or control; the right to worship You in any way I choose. I thank you, Lord.

For the joy that comes in being a member of a wonderful . . . ordinary. . . family. I thank you, Lord.

For church, for friends, for faith, for my beloved country. I thank you, Lord.

For the daily joy which comes from loving and being loved in return by one who has made our ordinary home a wonderful place of joy and happiness; of whom, after first we met, it truthfully can be said, “and he lived happily ever afterward.” I thank you, Lord.

For wonderful, ordinary parents who knew the difference between right and wrong and imparted that knowledge to their children; who believed in hard work and taught us its value; who had faith in God and His ability to work wonders; who accepted the challenge of working on and under the West Virginia hills to keep us all together. I thank you, Lord.

For the wonderful blessing of such an ordinary thing as providing me with meaningful work to perform and the physical and mental health that enables me to do it. I thank you, Lord.

For living my days in an ordinary, wonderful, little community of peace and beauty where I am surrounded by friends. I thank you, Lord.

From your bounteous goodness has come to me more clothes than I can wear, more food than I can eat, a house with more rooms than I can occupy, and so for these and all the other material benefits of my life. I thank you, Lord.

For the miracle of birth that brought us children, ordinary, healthy, happy, wonderful children; and now the added blessing of four grandchildren to give further meaning and majesty to life ongoing, in that everflowing stream meandering forever down to the sea of eternity, I thank you Lord.

For the dreams of those brave souls who observed that first Thanksgiving, those ordinary, wonderful people who believed that the worship of God should furnish the cornerstone on which to lay the foundation of a new nation, I thank you, Lord.

For the courage of millions of ordinary men and women, who through more than 200 years with extraordinary bravery have defended my freedoms, who have been willing to give the last full measure of their devotion, their lives, in the defense of our great country, who have faced death without flinching so that we Americans might live out our days in peaceful freedom, I thank you, Lord.

You know, Lord, how inadequate are mere words and phrases when we feel such desperate need to communicate what is in our hearts. And yet at the end of another day, when we overhear the softspoken whisper of a little girl as she talks with You, the realization suddenly comes that she has said it all for us, especially for me, dear Lord, this Thanksgiving: ” and thank you, God, for everything.”