Happy Thanksgiving 2023!
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Happy Thanksgiving week church family,

I hope this week consists of some sweet moments of tasty food, slower days, fun traditions, and time with family and friends. Whatever else the day holds for you – I do hope you experience some of the happiness there is to be enjoyed.

But I can almost guarantee you that ‘happy’ is not the only word you typically use to describe past Thanksgiving experiences – and it may very well not be the primary word you use to describe the unfolding moments of this week.

I know it was not the word Bri and I would have used to describe our first Thanksgiving after moving away from family. We were set to meet in Cincinnati to have Thanksgiving at my sister’s place. We were in charge of the pumpkin pie. Easy enough. We waited a little late to get baking, and to save some time we got one of those ready made store bought crusts. Bri was working away mixing ingredients together. I’m in the other room and I come in to lend a hand only to mess things up entirely. I didn’t realize those store bought crusts are about the flimsiest things you’ve ever held and I didn’t know you aren’t supposed to remove them from the tin container. I tried to ‘help out’ by taking the crust out of the tin and setting it in a pie dish. Well, the whole graham cracker crust crumbled all over our kitchen floor. My poor wife, trying to crush her first pumpkin pie for my family, and there I am picking up tiny pieces of crust trying to jigsaw them back together and reassuring her it will still taste good. All that to say–we didn’t end up bringing a homemade pie that year.

I’m sure you have your share of Thanksgiving memories–some sweet and some less so. Some of these meals feel like the already of God’s kingdom, and others make it feel more like the not yet.

This already-not yet reality runs through each of our days, and Thanksgiving is no different. I’m not sure what feels more present and more distant for you–what feels like glory has come or hasn’t come–but I know we each experience our days together as real mixtures of both. The kingdom of God, brought near in Jesus still awaits much on the other side of His return. And until then, we will continue to taste and see that God is good and glorious–while we also await the day we stop tasting and seeing all that is broken, sour, and bad.

I’m praying God will continue to strengthen and encourage us all today and this week. I hope you are able to have a happy Thanksgiving. However you are spending your week–we will still be getting together this coming Sunday to gather around another already-not yet meal. Our communion meal reminds us in many ways that there is a coming meal that will not disappoint–all that’s left unrealized, unresolved, and unmet will be made right. And we get to ready ourselves in hope for that great day as we participate in the Lord’s Supper together.

See you there.

P.s. Our dear friend Crystal is bringing us a pumpkin pie this year. God bless her and homemade pies.

In Christ,

Jonathan Gentry