A Thanksgiving Dare

Did you know that thanksgiving is another definition for the word Eucharist.  The meal we consume this Thursday can be a gathering that reflects Eucharist living.  Ann Voscamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, explores in poetic prose the power of this simple and biblical concept, gratitude.  Ann discovered the pattern of thanksgiving that runs throughout the scripture.  Not just the challenge to “in everything give thanks” (I Thess. 5:18) but how thanksgiving to God is exampled by so many biblical characters as well by the Jesus himself. 

Then a friend challenged Ann with a dare, “Could I write a list of 1000 things that I love. To name 1000 blessings—1000 gifts, not gifts I want, but gifts I already have." The rest of her story testifies to the transforming power to journal a list of 1000 Things I love: 

1. Morning shadows across old floors. 

2. Jam piled high on toast 

3. Cry of a blue bird from high in a spruce. 

My list and your list might be different. 

1. A sunny Texas Sunday in November. 

2. Wind on the lake making waves. 

3. Sunshine shining on wood floors. 

Might we too experience this Thanksgiving the transforming grace of Eucharist living long before we hit number 1000? Might we better understand the reason Paul exhorts us to “in everything give thanks.”  He invites us to live, not just one day of thanksgiving, but rather a lifestyle of thanksgiving every day.

I dare you this Thanksgiving to invite each person at your table to share something specific for which they are thankful this year.  Then I also dare you to take the challenge Ann Voscamp received to write a list of 1000 things for which you are thankful in the coming year.  Buy a journal, start the list, celebrate Eucharist living.  I am thankful for gifted authors who challenge me with such a dare.  Ann’s book chronicles how this dare dramatically changed her life.  It can change ours too.

Gwynne Johnson currently serves on the Board of Entrust, Inc., an international education and training mission where she authored the Entrust curriculum, Developing a Discerning Heart. She recently served as Co-Chair of the training project, Christian Women in Partnership, Russia and as Senior Director of Women's Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. Gwynne has a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She currently lives in Huntsville, Texas with her husband of 58 years, Don. She works part-time in her daughter and granddaughter's bakery "The Best Box Ever," where she gets paid in cookies.