Defying the Dark: A Thanksgiving Prayer


You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies

Psalm 23:5a

It was a sunny, balmy October Sunday. About a hundred of us filled the wooden pews of a small church in Nashville, reflecting on the creative retreat that was about to end. It had been an incredible few days, full of music and art and delicious food.

It was the food that made a woman named Kelly Keller stand up. “I remember once hearing someone explain that feasts in The Chronicles of Narnia are an act of war,” she said. She reflected on it for a moment, pulling examples from C.S. Lewis’s classic children’s books: the secret dinner at the Beavers’ house, the meals provided by Father Christmas in defiance of the White Witch’s ruling of “Always winter, never Christmas.”

Kelly ended her thoughts with this benediction:

Let every feast be a declaration of war against everything that is not true.

It’s both a terrifying and beautiful thought, isn’t it? In a world wrecked by sin and shame, our feasts have the power to be lights in the darkness, little shining arrows of love and laughter and gratitude to pierce hatred and bitterness and selfishness.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been at my share of war feasts lately. Meals to welcome new colleagues, meals while we planned an upcoming conference. Dinners at Doko Weekend in Ohio, lasagna with friends, Game Night Thanksgiving. Each meal burning with its own light of glory. Spread out over weeks, they shine like the stars in a moonless sky, waging war against the principalities and powers of darkness.

I don’t know how you’re celebrating your Thanksgiving: turkey or tofurkey, with dear family members or all alone. But my prayer for you—for all of us—is Kelly’s:

Let your Thanksgiving be a declaration of war against everything that is not true.