Holding Hope and Giving Thanks

Give Thanks collection
Black and white sign "Give Thanks" rests on top of an orange sweater with a darker orange gourd. Imaged licensed from Envato Elements.

We can hold equal and opposite emotions at the same time. Naming them both is what matters.


Whether you are alone or gathered with friends and/or family, may your holiday be filled with gratitude and love.

It’s okay to enjoy the laughter and love of family and friends even when there is so much pain and struggle in the world. It’s okay to be grateful for what you have even knowing your neighbors have much less. Gratitude can help focus on hope because it turns our attention to what we have and what we can do, rather than on what we don’t have or can’t do.

If you have the energy, check in with your neighbors or friends you haven’t connected with in a while. There’s enough going on in the world with politics, war, and violence that many people are struggling and having a tough time finding hope or gratitude.

One way we bring the light of hope into the world is by expressing our gratitude for the people, places, and things that bring us joy. Then share the joy. And sometimes that means making room for the struggles of others.

Whatever you do, wherever you go this Thanksgiving, may gratitude light the way to hope and love.


About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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