Our annual thank you note

Lisa Misner —  November 22, 2018

A prayer of thanksgiving for 2018

cornucopia

By Eric Reed

(Editor’s note: For more than three decades, Chicago Tribune columnist Joan Beck annually penned a Thanksgiving essay recalling the year’s blessings. Her offering in free verse was a fan favorite and serves as our template, with input from the Illinois Baptist team.)

As we gather together
to ask the Lord’s blessings,
397 years after the first
Thanksgiving Day,
we are grateful, dear God,
for this year of lows and highs,
praise and sighs,
all which showed your mercy.

We give thanks with a grateful heart–
For our Savior who proves
time after time
He’s a friend who sticks closer
than a brother,
Who by his life and death
and life again
gives us a peaceful rest and a
perfect end.
My chains are gone,
  I’ve been set free,
And grace is still Amazing.

Now thank we all our God–
For the survival of democracy,
freedom of religion, press,
and speech;
For hope that civility will be
restored
And the nation will return
to her Founder.
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
  Confirm thy soul
  in self-control,
    Thy liberty in law!

What the Pilgrims struggled to
secure we have in abundance:
food on our table
and family around it;
those here now and
those who once were.
Thanks for texts, technology,
and prayer that keep us
in contact;
for the communion of saints
and so great a cloud of
witnesses who cheer us on to
the faithful completion
of our race.
And cousins.

Our blessings are a grocery list
of wonder drugs and Eliquis,
caring nurses and specialists.
Thank you, God, for gainful
employment
and Kingdom work.

Did we mention Fancy Nancy
and giggling Peppa Pig?
making toddlers laugh
and dance little a jig,
pre-schoolers’ discoveries too
quickly turning to senior year,
the pleasure of watching kids
grow tall,
trusting God who’s over all
will keep them safe.
For Crock-pot weather
and chili time,
Autumn in colorful riot,
the joy of snowfall’s first blanket,
relief at its last,
and Spring’s eternal hope.
The uplift from worship
when we don’t feel like going,
encouragement from church
family and knowing
God will meet us there.

When upon life’s billows
  we are tempest tossed
By trials undreamed and
searing loss,
You invite our cry, we boldly say,
Lord, I need you, Oh, I need you;
  Every hour I need you.

Eternal Father, strong to save
Daily I am grateful that
You walk with me
and talk with me
and tell me I am your own,
even when I feel distant or alone
your rod and staff,
  they comfort me.

No matter what next year may
bring, we attest with confidence
neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
  nor powers, nor things present,
  nor things to come,
  nor height, nor depth,
  nor any other creature
shall be able to separate us
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

Eric Reed is editor of Illinois Baptist media.

Lisa Misner

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Lisa is IBSA Director of Communications. A Missouri native, she has served at IBSA for 21 years.