Be a Blessing
It’s Thanksgiving week! I am running around picking up coconut cake, pecan pies, salad greens from the Farmer’s Market, bread from the bakery, and fresh cranberries. I am excited to gather around the table, actually we will need many tables, with my sisters, brothers-in law, parents and 16 kids. There are so many expectations around the holidays, especially after the pandemic shut-down. We will pull our chairs up to the table and whether we like it or not, we will bring with us invisible worries, resentments, but also great hopes. The challenge in these circumstances when faced with different personalities, different histories, and different perspectives is to rise and offer our best, not to repeat past, diminishing patterns. The best thing that could happen this Thanksgiving is that we each walk away feeling seen and encouraged.
Remember the “love meal” Jesus hosted over 2,000 years ago. That feast was not perfect, but it was sacred which explains why we are still talking about it 2,000 years later. Like today, there was so much uncertainty about the future. Jesus’ table reflected complicated relationships, those who would give their lives for Jesus and others who would betray him in small and grand ways. I imagine we would have heard some wine toasts, a couple of jokes followed by laughter. I am sure that James and John had a “tall tale” fishing story or two. Certainly, the guests would remember family and friends not present, new works, and travels, and definitely ruminate and hope about the future. Like us, they came to Jesus’ table with their flaws, their fears, their hang-ups, their doubts, their hopes. And Jesus made room for all of it. He focused on the long game, “the Big Picture.” His mission was to make sure everyone around his table felt seen, loved, and fed on hope.
We could take a lesson on what it means to be host/hostess and a guest at important meals of thanksgiving. We know they are going to be imperfect; it’s left up to us if they will be sacred.
I wonder if this year, we bring our gentle, open, and encouraging selves, God would have room enough to surprise us with grace. Because wouldn’t we all like a little grace!
A couple of questions to steer the 2022 Thanksgiving table conversations:
- What are you hoping for right now?
- Share something right now that gives you daily joy. It could be as simple as a certain cup of tea, a book you are reading, the meeting of a new friend, or walking path in nature.
- Was there a moment over this last year where you felt heaven break through? Like Louis Armstrong, you were singing inside, What a Wonderful World?”
- Offer one compliment or encouraging word to each person gathered at your table.
Be a blessing this Thanksgiving!