Hot take: My least favorite thing about this upcoming holiday season is the American cultural understanding of what is appropriate to eat on Thanksgiving and Christmas. If I’m honest, I’d rather have Mariano’s fajitas for Thanksgiving and Jimmy’s lasagna for Christmas. My plate typically consists of a heaping portion of my Aunt Jane’s cheesy potatoes and a vegetable, because I must. Perhaps I feel this way because I have yet to be invited to YOUR family’s table that has the most amazing smoked turkey ever.
For the last month, we’ve spent time curating our favorite Wilshire memories. The act of remembering is a faithful spiritual discipline, an act God calls us to throughout the Scriptures. So while I share my least favorite thing about this upcoming holiday season, it seems appropriate to also share my most favorite thing: this congregation’s generosity and your collective response to Dr. Reddie’s main sermon thesis last week — to care for the least of these.
This is my 11th holiday season with you, and your year-round generosity continues to inspire me to be a better minister and mother. Your generosity inspires me to continue to cultivate a spirit of giving in my own children, who are developmentally egocentric. Your generosity inspires me to continue pushing for justice even when the world feels so broken and I want to give up. Your generosity makes me a better minister to our community. And for that I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
Howard Thurman, one of the great mystics, reflects, “How moving is the sheer wonder of being necessary to the life of another! The giving of a gentle word when you did not know that such a word was desperately needed; the sharing of so little at the crucial point of acute urgency.”
Tomorrow, for the 11th year in a row, I’ll pick up a 15-foot U-Haul at 8 a.m. and load it full of turkey baskets to deliver to the Wilkinson Center. The food will be shared with families who are working toward a better future.
So perhaps you, too, don’t enjoy the forced holiday meals, but I hope during this season of gratitude and giving you find the wonder of sharing your life with the world.