From the Desk of Pastor Clay

 
  The dawn of the smart phone was quite possibly one of the coolest thresholds that we have crossed as a human race. It was the start of a level of connectivity that was unparalleled and changed our lives forever. Now, whether that’s good or bad is still up for debate, but that’s a debate for another time. The dawn of the smart phone also led us to the dawn of a technological “advancement” that still harrows over us today: autocorrect. The wonderful adventure of texting with autocorrect is the journey of never knowing what your text is going to actually say. Some autocorrects are funny. Other autocorrects are terrifying. I had a friend who was a manager of a staff, and one night one of his employees texted him about a problem and needing the next day off. What he was trying to send was, “You’re fine.” But Autocorrect happened, and what he ended up sending was, “You’re fired.” Thankfully he noticed it and called the person to clarify and save this person from an excruciating evening. But my favorite autocorrect has to be the switch between definitely and defiantly. Let’s be honest: definitely is hard to spell when texting even with very precise fingers. But a few years ago, when I was ordained, a friend of mine texted me that he was defiantly going to be at my ordination. I ended up telling him that he was perfectly welcome to just come; there was no one to defy. Or I saw an autocorrect that said, “I am defiantly going to med school.” It can turn a statement into an altogether different sentiment. “I am defiantly going to the grocery store,” or “I am defiantly coming to your wedding next spring,” have different meanings than what can be intended. But this year and this season of Thanksgiving may require us to be a little defiantly thankful. There are times in life when we do not feel especially thankful, and there are times that life does not give us much for which we can be thankful. This can be true under normal circumstances, and there’s been no such thing as “normal circumstances” since February of this year. But yet here we are presented with a season of Thanksgiving, a day we have set aside to express our gratitude for the gifts from God’s hands and the impact that other people have had on our lives. The reality is, though, that for whatever reason, we may not be feeling especially thankful. This year has been hard, the losses we’ve experienced have been great, and the stressors we’re feeling don’t go away with turkey and football. I’d invite you to be defiantly thankful to bring us to a place of being definitely thankful. One of my favorite quotes from John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, is “preach mercy until you’re merciful.” Or put another way: “fake it until you make it.” Expressing thanksgiving and gratitude can actually make us feel thankful and grateful. And having someone express their gratitude to us can it easier to reciprocate. Paul told the Church in Thessalonica in his first letter to them to “rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is God’s will for us to express thanksgiving. And so, let me start. There is so much to be thankful for in the Lundberg house. We’re thankful for health and a negative Covid test. We’re thankful that our boys are making friends at Laurel’s daycare and around the neighborhood. We’re thankful for the warm welcome we received here, for the friendships that are beginning to be forged, and the ways that we’ve become a part of the church family here in Canton. We’re thankful for Friendship Preschool and its hard-working staff. There’s just so much to be thankful for. Friends, let us use this Thanksgiving to remember all we have to be thankful for and that the universe and all that is within it is a gift from God. Everything. It is all pure gift. You can even be grateful for things like autocorrect, because Autocorrect stops us from firing employees and texting about selling someone’s antibiotics. (Sorry. Antiques. Autocorrect.)
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Clay