Our mid-term elections have come and gone. In their aftermath, one thing is certain. We are a nation divided and without an easy way forward to realizing our still unfilled belief: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence)

This week we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a national Holiday officially initiated in 1863 by our great liberator of the oppressed, President Abraham Lincoln. It is a time when families gather to give thanks for all they have, including the gift of those closest to them. This year, perhaps more than ever, our gatherings will take place with deep disagreements as to our national purpose and how to achieve it.

As people of faith, may we offer healing and forgiveness throughout the Holiday Season to those who are unable to empathize and act upon the plight of so many who suffer in our midst. And as we reach out to those who lack the basic goods of God’s creation, may we never rest until all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or state of life, can sit at a table of Thanksgiving as the people they are meant to be.