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On the eve of the day that we have chosen to set aside as a day of thanks, I find myself once again being with the paradox that is two seemingly opposite or even conflicting truths, existing simultaneously.

I am so so very grateful, for I realize that I am living a life of privilege.  As challenging as life inherently is, I am richly blessed, with a roof over my head, a meal in my belly, a few bucks in my pocket and wheels with which to get to where I need to go. I remember how blessed that I am.

I think of a friend of mine – one of those friends that I have never met, yet have a relationship with and feel a kinship with none the less. His name is Jared, and he raises funds and builds schools for children in the ghettos of west Africa. Today he posted a picture on social media of the toilet project that they are currently working on, so that the children will have facilities while they are in school. I send him money, now and then, for new school uniforms, or for books. Or for toilets.  I remember how blessed that I am.

And my heart aches this night for people of color in this country who are going through an experience that I, well, as well versed as I consider myself to be, I realize that one can only truly understand something when they have walked in that persons shoes, which I have not. So I try to understand. And my heart aches, because people that I love hearts ache.  And I am acutely aware that as a white male in this country I am privileged. And so I minister, and I do the best that I can do with the people that come to me, and with myself. And I remember how blessed that I am.

And my heart aches for a dear friend who is being told, just today, that she may have lukemia. And I love her and her family so.  And I remember how blessed that I am.

And I sit here in front of my laptop and my heart aches at my own challenges, which the circumstances of the world do not diminish, but they certainly do put into perspective. And I remember how blessed that I am.

If you are reading this, on a computer, and are warm and dry and have clean water and a toilet with running water, then you are richly blessed. We have challenges before us, both individually and collectively, and the fact that we are blessed, or privileged, does not excuse us from showing up in the world and contributing what is ours to contribute to the greater whole. It is by sharing our good that we realize the true experience of how richly blessed we are.

I’m not a big Bible thumper, but there are some lessons, some opportunities, some mandates in that library of documents that are well-worth considering. From the book of Mark; “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your might; this is the first commandment. And the second is like to it; You must love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

So tonight I get to be very, very grateful, for all that I am so richly blessed with. And, I get to consider those with whom I share this planet, with whom I share a lineage, with whom I share a nature and an origin and a desire; to live well, to be safe in my world, to be a place where the creativity and the joy and the love and the good of Spirit shows up in all of the diverse and amazing ways that that happens.

Because I am not only an expresser and an experiencer of the good, of all that I am so richly blessed with, I am also a steward of that good, and it is incumbent on me, gifted with the rich blessing and privilege that I am, to do my part in assuring that every person on this planet can experience the same thing.

For it is not just in the experience of blessing, but in the sharing of it that I truly I remember how blessed that I truly am.

Rev. Jeff –