Thanksgiving Pardon and Gratitude

This is our first and hopefully, last "Pandemic Thanksgiving!" It is different and disappointing. Yet, in many ways it is also surprisingly delightful! We have some extremely gifted and creative grandchildren in our family! Remember, my weekly signature postscript declares that I am proud to be known as "a doting grandparent?!!" This suggests by definition that I am "extremely and uncritically fond and adoring" of all twelve of our grands! 😁

I have been wanting to get a writer out of this crop of kids for years now. I just may get more than one! We have a couple of teenagers who are showing some promise. I'll brag on them sometime later. However, it is the littlest of the lot that I am bragging on today. Eloise our adoring 8-year-old granddaughter from Saint Louis recently wrote a precious note to Mimi and Poppi that has our buttons popping with pride. This was a school assignment for her second grade class. Her Daddy remarked that this micro literary offering was completely unprompted and original. Wowzer's! This sweet grand has made us feel special! I will let you read this creation on your own. (See the picture.) 

Eloise is not alone in expressing her sentiments in print! Our equally sweet grandson, Charlie, (I'm sure he won't let me call him this in a year or two more!) also showed off both his writing and reading skills in this cute Thanksgiving story assignment for his first grade teacher. While he had a little help forming his storyline from his tutor and Mimi, this nearly original piece has young Charles' finger prints (literally and figuratively!) written all over it! This is an ingenious story of how the Thanksgiving turkey was pardoned and escaped his dinner table fate by being disguised as Santa.

While the annual presidential pardon of the Thanksgiving turkey(s) at the White House is well-storied in the media, we believe that Charlie has a better rendition of this "escape from certain fate!" I offer the full text here for those who might strain unduly to read it from the pic!

"How to Help a Turkey Escape from Thanksgiving Dinner... I will help my turkey escape by First bying it a red cote, pants, and a red hat. Allso black boots and cotn for a beard. Next put on his clos and gloo his beard. Last, say HoHoHo! He looks like Santa! We will not eat Santa!" 

Now, isn't that clever and creative?!! 

When I think of the word "pardon," I immediately think of one of my favorite old hymns, At Calvary. (Words: William Newell; Music: Daniel Towner). The hymn's first stanza personalizes the obvious peril in our sinful condition, "Years I spent in vanity and pride caring not my Lord was crucified. Knowing not it was for me He died at Calvary." Then, the chorus exclaims God's generous remedy in the Cross of Christ, "Mercy there was great and grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me; There my burdened soul found liberty, At Calvary." 

We cannot be sure what the inspiration was behind this confessional hymn, but Isaiah 55:7 may be a window into the themes that are mentioned. "Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon"(NIV).

This Thanksgiving season is different due to the Pandemic. With surging of the Covid, we decided to stay a little closer to home and limit our exposure to those outside of our "bubble." We will not be having our usual extended family gathering. It will just be two "old folks" this year! However, we are thankful for many of the same things that you are thankful for as well: family, friends, our church family, health, material needs that are being met, and that our daily lives are full of meaning and purpose. We are especially thankful that our spiritual lives are in the care of a great and loving God who is merciful, good, full of grace, and freely offering pardon and forgiveness. 

I am thankful specifically for each of you who faithfully read these articles each week. Thank you for your encouragement! I couldn't express my appreciation any better than a friend of mine who is fond of saying, "Writers need readers!" You keep me writing! God bless you and your family with a Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor, 
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 🦃



  1. True words. I have come to realize our grandchildren are our reward for not killing our young!

    Happy Turkey Day with Thanksgiving!

    John Marer

    1. Well said, John! And what a reward indeed!!

    2. As you might expect I appreciated one of your favorite hymns "At Calvary". Just one of many old hymns that we don't here often enough.

      It was good to hear about your Grandyoungens expressing their thanks for well deserving Grandparents. Hope your Thanksgiving day is a special one in spite of the distancing. My back surgery went very well and one month later, I am doing fine . . . thanks for asking and praying!


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