Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’  Mathew 25:40

From Caleb Lain
I have spent very few Thanksgivings at my house.  The men in my family usually start the week off with a couple days of hunting before we got to our final Thanksgiving destination. Our most common trip was to Midland where we would spend the holiday stuffing ourselves with some great food at my grandparents’ house, followed by football on TV.

While this was typical for my family, it wasn’t that way every year. There were a few years when we found ourselves at home (after the obligatory deer hunt, of course). I do remember that almost every time we spent Thanksgiving at home we had guests.  These guests were usually people who our society had left out - the widow or widower, the mentally handicapped, and even the socially awkward.

In Luke 14:12-14 Jesus says this, When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Having some of society’s outcasts at our dinner table for holidays was very much of a learning experience. It wasn’t always a pleasant or comfortable situation, but it was a definite blessing to be a part of something Christ command’s us to do.

The people we invited to dinner were never able to repay us or reciprocate in any way. But that’s the way God commands us to do it. If we only show love to those who can reciprocate that love, then we are just like the world. But when we show love to “the least of these” then we will see the true and unending blessings of following Christ.

From Brian McKay:
My grandmother just turned 96 and she lives in a small house right beside my parent’s home. I went by this past week to drop off a birthday present for her and then I popped in to my parent’s home just to say, “hi.”  I spoke with my mom for a few minutes, and then as I started to leave I was stopped by a bear hug.  Two big arms wrapped around me and those familiar words were spoken in my ear.
“I love you son.”

I’ve heard them thousands of time from my dad and most of them have been accompanied by this bear hug.

This bear hug is something I’m trying to pass along to my kids.  My 8 year old son loves to hug, he loves to hear me tell him that I love him and he loves to hug and return the sentiment.  Now my teenage daughter, well, she’s a teenager.  If you have one you understand.  But I’m not letting her response to my hugs and my I love you’s stop me. 

You may not have grown up with a dad or mom that hugged or told you those three words but there’s no reason for your kids to grow up that way.

If hugging is not “you” then, for the sake of your kids, make it “you.”  Start today.  Grab your kids, lock them in a bear hug, and tell them you love them.  They may not understand it now but they will when they have kids of their own.

I’m thankful for a dad that let his kids know every day that they were loved.

Scripture to Claim:

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?  1 John 3:17

Submitted by Caleb Lain/Brian McKay

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