As we enter a holiday season with all its traditions and gatherings, let's begin it with a sincere expression of thanks for our families, family businesses and others who contribute to our lives.
- Thanks for the relationships with our business partners, families and friends that sustain and nourish us daily.
- Thanks for the talents of our co-workers that allow us to work together to serve our colleages, customers and communities.
- Thanks for the difficulties we encounter in life and work, difficulties that ultimately strengthen our commitments to one another as well as deepen our character.
- Thanks for victories, large and small, that provide for the well-being of our families and others in our towns.
- Thanks for the freedoms in our country that allow us to pursue our vocations through our family companies.
- Thanks for those in the armed services and in public service, whose service enables us to pursue our passions.
But we also know that holiday season is a time of genuine difficulty -- emotional, physical, financial or spiritual -- for many people:
- We pray for healing of families broken by pain, conflict and misunderstanding.
- We pray for reconciliation for family members who have endured years of silence or years of harsh words from those they love.
- We pray for recovery for family members we know who struggle with depression or addiction - this season can be especially trying.
- We pray for the recuperation of our family and friends who are in poor physical health.
- We pray for good judgement for those in our communities and industry struggling with the survival of their business.
- We pray those suffering will experience the restoration of their strength, a sense of peace and the assurance they are loved and treasured. Help them feel welcome at our gatherings and in our celebrations of family, faith and community.
Beyond material objects, we ask for gifts that enable us to live richer and fuller lives:
- We ask for understanding to hear to those closest to us, whose words we often take for granted.
- We ask for wisdom in knowing what to say to those closest to us, as our words can at times be affirming and other times hurtful.
- We ask for courage to forgive those closest to us, when we are hurt by them.
- We ask for perspective to appreciate our family and business history and legacy.
- We ask for foresight to continue building resilient family businesses in years to come.
- We ask for perserverance to stay the course during times of plenty and times of difficulty.
May our gratitude , our prayers and our requests be heard this day. Amen.