Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Memories

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

I think our family is fairly normal in terms of celebrating Thanksgiving here in America. We have a nice breakfast, watch the parade on TV, enjoy the wonderful smells of dinner being prepared in mom or grandma’s kitchen, and play and watch football throughout the day.  And of course, early in the afternoon we enjoy the highlight of the day by sitting down with family to an incredible, traditional feast that leaves you stuffed from turkey, dressing, veggies, and amazing desserts. Not too bad!

But two years ago Thanksgiving had a little different twist. We added some culture. Specifically, we had a guest in our home from England for the Thanksgiving break. He was a teammate on my son’s college soccer team and had no place to go for Thanksgiving.

We didn’t know what to expect from him having only seen him play games but never spending any quality time with him. As the week neared, we were all kind of curious what it would be like – language/accent, traditions, likes or dislikes for our traditional American foods, interests, habits, etc.  

We shouldn’t have been worried because it was great! He fit in great with our family and we had a lot of fun together discussing culture differences, trying new things (Ex: catsup on toast for meals), introducing him to our church, and getting to share with him what Thanksgiving was really about, especially for us as Christians. When the boys went back to school we were kind of sad. It was a great time and left a special memory for us all. Now with a couple of boys in college we await the holidays wondering, “who is next?”

Reaching out can be scary sometimes, can’t it? You don’t know who the other person really is, what mess they may be bringing in to your life, or how you can really help.  And the truth of the matter is that it should not just be a holiday thing. It’s a daily thing that we should live by as Christ-followers. Jesus said: “Deny yourselves, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) The scripture is very consistent and also reminds us in the words of Jesus: “The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Submitted by Jim Garner

Devotional Archive