These many months of 2020 we have become experts at identifying the side-effects of Covid-19: dry cough, fever, fatigue, shortness of breath. Covid test results, both negative and positive, fill our prayers. Wear a mask, wash our hands, and socially distance have become the external side-effects of covid.
My thoughts wander to the ‘side-effects’ of "Thanksgiving". There are at least three side-effects that came to mind: gathering - abundance - gratitude. Often we find ourselves making arrangements to gather together to share time during Thanksgiving. It is a holiday shared by all Americans and not specific to religion. Families gather, sometimes traveling great distances to spend time with each other. Food is gathered and prepared, and special meals are shared. In this, I find abundance ~ of provision and of time shared to reflect upon the blessings of life. While focusing on our blessings, it is easier to be thankful. But are these really the side effects of Thanksgiving?Our plans often get in the way, often draw our attention away from God. Gathering together with God, spending time being nourished by His carefully prepared Word feeds the soul. In these times, we find the abundance of God's goodness and grace; we find blessings beyond need. Surrounded by such provision, the heart must acknowledge Our Sustainer, and with gratitude - whisper and shout - Baruch Hashem Adonai! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!