Rev. Derrick Elliott

A book called Grateful: Song of Giving Thanks, written by John Bucchino and then later sung by Art Garfunkel, was one of the many books I read to my elementary class the week before Thanksgiving. This song/book is powerful and illuminates what it truly means to be grateful. It gave voice to gratefulness and thanks for what we have. This spirit-filled treatise is relatable to all persons of faith and humanity and causes one to look into a deep, soul-searching reflection. In one of the stanzas, the composer wrote:

I feel a hand holding my hand

It’s not a hand you can see

But on the road to the promised land

This hand will shepherd me

Through delight and despair

Holding tight and always there


Grateful, grateful

Truly grateful I am

Grateful, grateful

Truly blessed

And duly grateful

Soul searching is what we need today. As we head into the season of Thanksgiving, my friends, I ask you this: What does it mean to be grateful in 2022? We have been bombarded with a constant cycle of negativity, hatred, and fear this year, and some of us have forgotten to be grateful.

One would think it is a simple philosophy to adopt gratitude in one’s life. However, our consternation with life and our worries and anxieties about life keep us from this. We have become a consumer-focused world and a nation that seeks instant gratification, and in some way, we allow our material possessions to bring us comfort. When we put our trust in worldly possessions, it causes anxiety. I am grateful for my faith and my faith teachings. My faith is multi-dimensional from my heart, mind, soul, and strength. Jesus wants us to grow past our worries, because God is not a distant God, but God is our loving, Heavenly parent.

A life of faith is not without its hiccups, concerns, and challenges. There will be some trials and tribulations as well as joys and victories. We are not alone in our life journey as we face the world. What a Thanksgiving Blessing this is to know that God will take care of us.