Deuteronomy 26:1-11

When I was growing up, my family gathered for Thanksgiving every other in Sac City, Iowa, where my grandparents grew up. They grew up there, so the whole family came to be planted there in a sense, but my people were not from there. We were from Germany, Wales, and a few other places, and I believe we made it to northwestern Iowa by way of Illinois.  Like most families (like all families, if you go back far enough), we were from somewhere else.

Maybe that’s a question to ask tomorrow, if your family is gathering, something to recite for the rising generations that don’t know the story yet: “my ancestors were…” They were wandering Arameans – Finns, Swedes, Italians, or UPers – and they eventually arrived here. They came to a logging camp. To a mining location that is no more. To work at a hospital, a public utility, or a law firm. And now here we’ve been planted, even if, like my family, we only come back here every couple of years.

Tell this story to each other, then set the table, carve the turkey, and pour the gravy. Let this story prompt your gratitude. Remember when you and your ancestors wandered that wilderness. Give thanks for those who took you into their homes and pointed you to an abundant land. Praise God whose faithfulness goes with those who wander and find new homes.

And remember, it may be your turn now to share with those who have no property, family, or resources. Perhaps this story calls us to offer a place to those who have no other place among us. We were there once, too – so may we share and celebrate God’s goodness. Amen.

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