Confession Before Thanksgiving

It’s two days before Thanksgiving and already many are gathering lists of the blessings of life.  Thanksgiving is a good thing, but far too often we give thanks without questioning whether some of our blessings were brought to us through the misery of others.  How did we get our wealth or our material goods?  Who made our phones and our computers and our clothes?  What sins have we committed or were committed on our behalf in order to get what we now give thanks for?  The Thanksgiving meal itself can be fraught with these contradictions if we haven’t taken care to see that our Turkey was raised well or our dressing came to us without the exploitation of migrant labor.  I don’ t mean to be a killjoy, but if we don’t face these questions we cannot give real and deep thanks for the truly profound blessings God pours into our lives.  So before Thanksgiving, we would do well to prepare in these days before not only by making lists of what we are thankful for, but also in confessing all of the ways in which we have manufactured our own blessings in impatience and greed, in exploitation and violence.

Lord, help our thanksgivings be good and true.

About Ragan Sutterfield

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer and Episcopal seminarian sojourning from his native Arkansas in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of This is My Body: From Obesity to Ironman, My Journey Into the True Meaning of Flesh, Spirit, and Deeper Faith (Convergent/Random House 2015).