Recently, with Thanksgiving getting closer on the calendar, I have had a line from a song stuck in my head. “Give thanks with a grateful heart; give thanks to the Holy One”. This is a worship song heard often in church when I was a child. I didn’t question the words when I was younger but this year I have been wondering about this “grateful heart” I keep singing about. You see, in our North American wellness culture—something promoted by companies selling us ointments, activewear and books, and the easy-to-digest proverbs on sites like Instagram—I worry we are conflating gratitude and happiness.
Complaints about youth vandalism have led to worrying comments. Youth need support instead of criticism verging on violence.
It has been argued that as a religious figure ministers should stay out of politics. Some point to Jesus’ comment of “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” as a way of saying Christians should stay apolitical. But, to me, the Galilean tradesman and spiritual leader I follow was deeply political. He spoke for corporate responsibility, of care for the vulnerable, of the need for those with more to carry more responsibility. That said, I’m not writing this piece to tell you how to vote, but to encourage you to vote. That is to say, as people of faith we must carry out this basic civic responsibility.