Getting Back to the Basics of Why We’re Thankful This Year

Minister Paul J Bern
5 min readNov 26, 2023

Giving Thanks That We Are God’s Living Creations

My Thanksgiving Message for 2023

by Minister Paul J. Bern

It’s true. I hug people, pets, and trees. I have no children of my own, but I dote on everybody else’s. I go out of my way to treat them all well. I make no bones about it. Call me a ‘tree hugger’ and I’ll thank you for the compliment. If you would rather not hug me right about now, it’s OK, I understand. I don’t expect people to reciprocate anyway.

God’s Magnificent Creations

I once tried to hug a tree in California that was alive during the time of Christ. I couldn’t resist. I had to get next to such ancient life. To walk among that grove of redwoods was to walk in the hush of a cathedral, only one far more ancient, more holy, than any man-made church. An ancient habitat still alive with flowing juices while busy sucking moisture from the ground and giving it back to the sky. One busy drawing energy down from the sun and giving it to the earth. I couldn’t help looking up in the presence of such enormous trees. If God creates living things of such magnificence as these trees, how much more will he do for those who ask Him for his help?

Feeling Thankful for Our Marvelous Planet Earth

But California isn’t my home, Atlanta is. While Georgia may not be California, we also have trees that are worthy of hugging. If you’ve ever hiked to the north Georgia mountains, there are ancient and gigantic pine, poplar and magnolia trees. Although much younger than California’s redwoods, and only about half as tall at the most, I can’t help but be amazed at the majesty of His Majesty and of that which He has created continually since before time began.

Giving Thanks For the Things We Take for Granted

You too have probably hugged trees, admit it or not. When you were a child, you hugged lots of trees if you were a climber. You may have used trees as ‘home’ during games of hide-and-seek. On the other hand, I’ve been known to wrap both arms around a scruffy old oak and utter thanks and blessings for what it’s meant to the scenery and the air and the critters of this garden-spot of the…

--

--

Minister Paul J Bern

Rev. Paul J. Bern is a Web pastor and blogger on The Social Gospel Blog on Medium and Substack. Longtime Atlanta Ga. resident; stroke survivor; piano player