God has not promised riches but I am thankful for all that He has enriched me with including my family, my friends, and the privilege of serving as a chaplain to some of the finest people I've ever known.

God has not promised health and vitality but I am thankful that for being 45 years old and slightly broken from an old injury that I am in good health and able to do what I need to do.

God has not promised justice nor liberty but I am thankful that I am a citizen of a nation that holds liberty as its greatest virtue.

God has not promised the faithful of His church will have it easy in this world but I am thankful that I can gather with my brothers and sisters in Christ and worship in freedom and teach my daughters the great wonders of the grace of God.

What God has promised is to be with us. And so as we draw from Thanksgiving into advent, the time of expectant waiting, and into the celebration of Christmas I am most thankful for Emmanuel -- God with us -- for in the infant child of Jesus, God became flesh and opened salvation for all who would receive Him.

And I am thankful for the service at St. Paul's Cathedral in London this past Thanksgiving that reminded me of what God has promised and to be thankful for the bounty when it comes but to be more thankful for the presence of God for bounty if all too often temporary and trouble may arrive on the morrow.