Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Lost Green Bean Casserole

Submitted by Jim Garner

Thanksgiving is a special day here in the United States full of so many traditions involving family, friends, football, and great food. It’s always on the fourth Thursday of November and now it has become the unofficial kick off to the Christmas season and shopping.  Within all these traditions we as a nation and families (hopefully) stop and give thanks and/or serve others in a special way.

When we consider all these many traditions, I would imagine the food tradition is very important to many blessed Americans who gather as families around large tables and enjoy a “traditional” meal. Yes, “their” traditional meal. Although the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie seem to be a standard dish at most of these meals, there is the influence of culture and family uniqueness that contributes other food items as well.  We all probably have that favorite dish made by mom or grandma that if it isn’t on the table we about go ballistic because in our minds “it’s not Thanksgiving without this meal!”

A few years ago we were visiting family in Arkansas and were carrying up some of the food to the house produced by grandma down at her garage apartment. In this important transportation one of my son’s stumbled and the dish he was carrying fell to the ground and broke spilling out the food all over it. It was like a slow motion nightmare because that was “the” green bean casserole we looked forward to every Thanksgiving. And it was all gone. There would be no Thanksgiving casserole for the family this year. As great as the meal was it seemed incomplete because the green bean casserole was gone. It was lost.

Okay, that might be a little dramatic but it was lost for that meal. And we really missed it. We were sad. But we survived and got over it. As we think about others this holiday season and focus on things that are really important, do we (do I) have the same concern for the “lost” that are around us? Many people have lost their way in life and are hurting while others are lost as in “don’t have a relationship with Jesus”. Do we care about them and their lost state as we do something we have misplaced or broken? Shouldn’t my passion and burden for these lost from Jesus be raised because aren’t they more important than a green bean casserole?

Green bean casserole can be very good. But sharing Jesus with others (the “lost”) through our words and actions this holiday season is simply the best! At the end of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, we are reminded just how special the “lost” are to God. In Jesus story we hear the Father say to the servants about the son who has returned home: “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:24)

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