The Christian Church has permeated every facet of modern culture. The first settlers on American Soil were innately connected to the Church world. Many were seeking new Life, hopes, dreams and religious freedom. Some were also criminals who were shipped to the New World to start fresh. In their European and Western Way there world view was there Truth and the only way. That’s why the Native American and eventually the African were treated so harshly. Yet before the racial saga of American History began the original settlers learned from the Native Americans something about giving thanks. And in those early years the harvest meal or thanksgiving meal became an act of American Society and Christianity. Once a year, family and friends gather together and give thanks. Giving Thanks is part of the basic molecular spiritual structure of Christianity. Christians are to Give Thanks!

The Church has language that is specific for the church and the saints of God. And sometimes this language is foreign for people who do not grow up in the Church. The world and particularly America has a lot to thank Christianity for and specifically the African-American/Black Church: for it is the Black Church that practices and lives the true faith of Christianity. The Black Church has been the Moral Conscious of Christianity in America. It has been the Black Church that sustained America after the Civil War, during the Civil Rights Movement and today. And it’s the black Church that has taught us How to Thank God in the midst of lack: How to thank God in the midst of adversity and how to Thank God in the midst of uncertainty. We give thanks in the midst of the assault of black Youth. We give thanks in the midst Mass incarceration)

This week many will travel to be with family and partake of what has become an American pastime: Thanksgiving Meal. This thanksgiving spirit will remain with us until Christmas and the New Years. We should always be giving thanks to God! And this time of the year and particularly thanksgiving week God probably gets more attention than usual. However just as this Holiday Season will bring families and communities together, the narrative of the dominant culture, mass materialism and greed will be subllimally and gently shoved down our throats. While family, community and the act of honoring God will be present before us, lets not be overcome and consumed with the busyness and greed of the Holiday Season. Let’s Just Give thanks to God and appreciate and be grateful for what we have instead of what we don’t have, wish or desire.

Rev. Carey A. Grady is the pastor of Reid Chapel, AME Church www.reidchapel.org in Columbia and blog regularly at www.careyagrady.com

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