"Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you." [Phiippians 4:8-9, NRSV]
If there was ever a perfect text for Thanksgiving, this is it. Paul reminds us that the key to being peaceful people is to keep our eyes focused on the blessings God has given us. I've always been a "glass is half full" kind of guy anyway so this text resonates with me big time. It's very easy for LGBT people of faith to focus on what is NOT going right. It's easy to focus on the hateful speech of those who would try to oppress and demean us. It's easy to focus on the family that has disinvited us from the Thanksgiving table and other holiday celebrations.
If this time of year is difficult for you, I suggest you follow Paul's advice and focus on the things in your life that are worthy of praise. Sure, there are haters out there but there are more and more straight people willing to speak out for LGBT equality. Sure some of our families have been mean and hurtful to us, but many of us have created our own families and have surrounded ourselves with positive, caring people who love us just the way we are. [Wouldn't you rather spend the holiday with them, anyway? It's a lot more fun.]
So my beloved cyber brothers and sisters, my hope and prayer is that all of us will keep our eyes focused on the things in our lives that are honorable, just, pure, pleasing and commendable. It's not only a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving. It's a wonderful way to live our lives and experience the peace and joy God desires for all of us.