Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the African American Christian tradition is the commitment to giving thanks. Whether in the coalfields of West Virginia or in the center of Philadelphia, nothing gets a Black congregation's attention and amens quicker than expressions of gratitude. Often those who had the fewest material goods or the most infirmities were quickest to declare how much they have to thank the Lord for. In honor of my forebears and the example they have shown, in the words of the classic gospel song, "I just want to take a little time right now to thank the Lord."
For ancestors, especially Leonard and Annabelle, whom I miss especially at holidays.
For family and friends, who love me and whom I love.
For a place of my own, warm in winter and dry during the storms.
For meaningful employment that pays the bills.
For vocational clarity after so many years of ambivalence.
For physical health, emotional stability, and intellectual acuity.
For recognized gifts and undiscovered talents.
For successes and failures.
For spiritual communities and leaders with integrity.
For food to enjoy and for the good sense not to eat too much of it.
For multiple invitations for Thanksgiving dinner.
For homes away from home.
For babies and elders and everyone in between.
For enemies who teach me how to pray and trust.
For laughter that is not mean-spirited.
For golf, even though I do not play well at all.
For a past full of extravagant blessings.
For a present full of contentment.
For a future full of promise.
But most of all, for Jesus who really is a Wonderful Savior.
I just want to say Thank You.
O Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt God's name together.