The seasons turn yet again, and as we move into November, we encounter a multitude of feelings. The weather changes, the sunlight lessens, and we are faced with the joy and challenge of the approaching Holiday season.
In a recent Harvard Health Newsletter, titled” Giving thanks can make you happier” we are reminded that “November kicks off the holiday season with high expectations for a cozy and festive time of year. However, for many this time of year is tinged with sadness, anxiety, or depression… Yet, research (and common sense) suggests that one aspect of the Thanksgiving season can actually lift the spirits, and it's built right into the holiday — expressing gratitude.”
The article notes that “the word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways, gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.” (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier)
There’s something about gathering with others for worship, to sing and pray and share joys and concerns, that deepens our connection to God and to each other. It’s in community that we find support and encouragement to look for the possibilities in each moment, and to offer thanks for “health, and strength and daily bread,” as the grace goes. We find the strength to reach out to one another and create sacred moments in our daily lives. We learn to take nothing for granted and everything in gratitude.
May this month offer holy and healing moments for all.