In All Circumstances
John Edgerton
November 23, 2021

And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
-1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

If you’re someone who doesn’t like public speaking, then Thanksgiving offers a particular sort of fear—the dreaded toast.

Pressed to offer a word of wisdom or gratitude, it can be easy to freeze up. Or perhaps its more you are afraid of praying in front of other people. And at the Thanksgiving meal your friends or family might—upon recollection of your church-going—ask you to lead the prayer. Perhaps my even raising this possibility is making your palms sweat just to think of it.

If that sounds like you, fear not! The Bible has got your back. Because if you find yourself this week in need of a last-minute Thanksgiving toast, prayer, or word of wisdom, First Thessalonians 5 will cover all the bases. If you’re in a decidedly non-praying kind of company, feel free to end the quotation after “do good to one another and to all”. The Apostle Paul would understand.

It is such a gift to remember that we do not always need to rely upon our own creativity, our own words, our own insights. We have the riches of ancient tradition to draw upon as our own.

Prayer: God, thank you for the gifts and riches of holy scripture.