is one of my favorite times of the year.
It is a time when my family gathers, as do so many others, to give thanks for the blessings we have been given and to engage in fellowship with one another. This is a tradition my family has taken part in for as long as I remember.
But that isn’t all I remember.
I remember being told that Thanksgiving is a time to remember those who have nothing to be thankful for and inviting them to be part of of our celebration.
I remember having more food than the dozens of us could eat and fixing plates for neighbors and friends.
I remember hearing my Mamaw say she’d “rather have a truckload too much than a teaspoon too little”.
I remember Granny welcoming anyone who would come to her door and offering to feed, and if necessary, clothe them.
I remember praying together, thanking Jesus for our bounty before we ever placed a morsel of anything on our plates.
I remember the men eating first, the women fixing plates for the children in the next room and then the women eating together at the big table, sharing stories and laughing.
As a child, I wanted to be part of the women’s table, laughing and having fellowship with them as they enjoyed the fruits of their labor while the men congregated together and talked of all manner of things because the TV only got one channel and nobody wanted to watch it.
I remember my dad coming in before dinner, smelling of the woods he’d been hunting in and loving the way he smelled and knowing that, no matter what, He would protect us all.
These are memories from days gone by. My dad doesn’t hunt anymore, my grandmothers have gone to be with Jesus and it would be easy to dismiss Thanksgiving altogether; but we don’t.
Come Thanksgiving Day, my Mom, my Sister, my Aunts, my Cousins and myself will be joyfully cooking to feed anyone who cares to join our table for dinner. To us, Thanksgiving has just as much meaning today as it did four decades ago. Little has changed, excepting the people that gather around our table.
We will still cook and fill the table with delicious things for those who chose to spend this special day with us.
We will still thank God for His bounty and Jesus for His salvation and protection to each and every one who comes to celebrate with us.
Our door will still be open to anyone needing a hot meal, a bit of companionship and a dose of encouragement.
We will worship Jesus and know that nothing we could ever hope to have would be possible without Him.
I hope everyone I’ve invited to join my family for Thanksgiving Dinner decides to come because this is a safe place, an encouraging place and place to find people who will love and cherish them.
I am blessed beyond measure and my hope is to extend that to those who feel alone.
Nobody should be alone on Thanksgiving.
Extend your invitation to someone, anyone, and find yourself blessed.
I don’t know if my invitation will be accepted, but I’ve already been blessed by extending it and I have every hope that there will be a new face at our Thanksgiving table this year.
If we think only of ourselves, we have very little to think about, but if we put others before ourselves, Jesus will take control and that is when the explosion of blessings will start.
Hoping to see some new faces at the Thanksgiving table next week.