Many of you probably don’t even know that from 1999-2002, prior to coming to Heritage Church, I was the minister of a small, also historically Universalist, UU congregation in North Olmsted, Ohio. At some point during that tenure – some November, no doubt – I was handed a piece of paper with a reading on it titled “Blessings.” I still have it, lovingly filed away under “Thanksgiving,” and thus I happened across it this week as I was preparing for upcoming services. While the numbers it quotes may have changed slightly in the course of the last two decades, I submit to you that the spirit of the text (as well as the profound inequities it references) remain as true today as they were back at the “turn of the century.”
I offer it to you as you prepare for the season of Thanksgiving.
If you can attend a church, mosque, synagogue or meeting house without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death – you are more blessed today than three million of your fellow human beings.
If you woke up this morning enjoying good, reasonable, or even decent health – consider that more than a million people on this planet will die of various diseases this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation – remember in your prayers the 500 million people in the world who have.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep – you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, or in your wallet, or spare change in your pocket or a dish somewhere – you are among the world’s top 8% in wealth.
If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them, or even reach out to touch them gently on the shoulder – do so. You are blessed to be able to offer love, support, and a healing touch.
If you can read this message, know that someone is thinking of you – and furthermore, that more than two billion of your human sisters and brothers cannot read at all.
Count your blessings – and pass along to others as many of them as you can. Bless the world.
In love and gratitude for all that we share in this richly blessed community which we have inherited, and which we call our Heritage –