During this thanksgiving week i have heard many storied, sermons and reflections about what it is to be thankful. The one that has stuck with me was one from Katie’s thanksgiving sermon when she talked about the the Jewish tradition of prayer called berakhot. This is a daily practice where the pray-er gives thanks for 100 things.
On Thanksgiving Day I went on a run, and to pass the time I tried out berakhot and made my mental list. I don’t know how many I got up to (Katie wrote hers down…smart), but toward the end of the run there were many like: cars, the wheel, not having to walk everywhere. This practice has gotten me to think about the things that I have neglected to give thanks for like running water, heat and clothing. I am working on typing up my list, but while I am, what are you most thankful for? Make your list with me.
I love Shane. Here is a snippet of a letter he wrote for esquire.com
To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity.
Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of God.
The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll with some friends from out of town. We walked down to Penn’s Landing along the river, where there are street performers, artists, musicians. We passed a great magician who did some pretty sweet tricks like pour change out of his iPhone, and then there was a preacher. He wasn’t quite as captivating as the magician. He stood on a box, yelling into a microphone, and beside him was a coffin with a fake dead body inside. He talked about how we are all going to die and go to hell if we don’t know Jesus.
Some folks snickered. Some told him to shut the hell up. A couple of teenagers tried to steal the dead body in the coffin. All I could do was think to myself, I want to jump up on a box beside him and yell at the top of my lungs, “God is not a monster.” Maybe next time I will.