A grateful heart

I was in college before I realized something different about my church. Up to that time, I assumed that the practice of holding a service on Thanksgiving Day—the way my church did—was the norm. Come to find out, it was, and still is, rather unique.

Growing up in the Northeast, I associated this special Christian Science service with classic Currier and Ives scenes of bountiful turkey dinners, jolly people bundled up amid bare trees, and sometimes a late-November snowscape. But Christian Science Thanksgiving services can happen at different times of the year in different countries, and somewhere people may be going to church in sandals instead of boots, or returning home to eat sushi instead of turkey.

Someone I know says she loves the Thanksgiving service most of all because there's a special feeling of fellowship, and because kids in the congregation get up and tell what they're grateful for, as do the grown-ups. I feel that way, too. It goes with something another friend once told me: that it's the nature of good to grow. And gratitude is, you could say, the vehicle for this growth, because through feeling it, we identify and magnify the good in our lives. It brings hope. The more you do it, the more you want to keep on doing it.

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November 24, 2003

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