It is hard to feel thankful today. Too many of our children have died a violent death lately. And the air is just too thick with anger and despair. So some of us march and rage against the darkness. While others of us bury our heads in the sands of denial and privilege. But neither reaction truly soothes our aching souls. For the truth none of us wants to face is our impotence to prevent such death. As long as we are human, we will hurt one another. Pride. Ignorance. Fear. Do the motives really matter? At the end of the day, over and over again, we will kill one another. Yes, we have a duty to struggle with all our might against injustice and evil. But we must also remember that Jesus never cured leprosy, only a mere handful of lepers. If it was not his job to fix the world, why do we think it is ours? No, our task, our calling, is to open our eyes to the glorious kingdom already in our midst. A kingdom that is not a what or a where, but a whom: our brothers and sisters, our family.
Yes, our Parent has truly "done wondrous things on earth!" And so we have much to be thankful for today. For the gifts of Michael Brown, Rhasson Hamilton, Tamir Rice, and Christopher Walker. And yes, for the gifts of Timothy Loehmann, Darren Wilson, and killers still unknown. They are not friends or foes, nor demons or monsters. They are our brothers, one and all. And we are called to love them, one and all. It is perhaps our greatest cross to bear, this call to recognize both victim and murderer as our siblings. And it is something else to be thankful for this day.
As for me personally, I am thankful for a special group of hundreds of my brothers and sisters here in Los Angeles County, whose unclaimed bodies will be buried in a mass grave early next month. I did not know any of them, but I mourn their loss and celebrate their lives. I am thankful for the residents of the International Space Station, who provide a glimpse of our family's grandeur. I am thankful for the wild green parrots of my hometown, whose chatter and aerial acrobatics bring laughter to my lips and joy to my heart. And I am most thankful for my best friend, my lover, my partner in this journey, the woman who eleven years ago tomorrow became my wife.
I could go on and on. I have much to be thankful for. We all have much to be thankful for. We belong to a family whose glory cannot be measured. So let us give thanks and praise our king's name, today and every day until we draw our last breath, for we are their mightiest work.