not for celebrations and parties. Not for get-togethers with good friends and people you may know. Not shopping for bargains and gifts, not meeting up to have a good time and not for having a nice glass of wine with like-minded folks.
Well, actually, it is that time of year, but not for everyone.
For some, this time of year means eating a cold can of beans alone in an empty room without power because the electric bill wasn’t paid. It wasn’t paid because the baby needed medication and there wasn’t enough money for medication and electricity.
For some, this time of year means standing on the street, in the cold, wearing street clothes and house slippers because there wasn’t enough money for rent and if there wasn’t enough money for rent, there certainly wasn’t enough money for a coat and shoes.
For some, this time of year brings memories that are bitter and hurtful; thoughts of years past that ran, one into the other, with no happiness or joy.
For some, this time of year means nothing. It is simply the passing of time while watching the world go by, just like the year before and the year before that.
For some, this time of year means family, food, friends and fellowship. It is these people who embrace the season and enjoy it as they always have, together with the people they love and are comfortable with.
But what about all the others?
Who, when they set down to their family table laden with food, surrounded by family, warm, cozy and perfect, think of those who have nothing, expect nothing and know nothing different from the emptiness they feel every year at this time?
I and many others call ourselves followers of Christ. We say with our voices how much we love and want to be like Jesus.
We sing praises, bless our food and continue on in the same traditions we have followed for years. We praise Jesus and say we want to be like Him but prove time and again that we recite words we believe but don’t, deep down, mean and we fail the very Jesus we say we want to be like.
He wants us to share what we have; not just home, warmth, family, friends and food, but the very word that would bring others to love and honor Him.
Invite a stranger to Thanksgiving dinner. Invite several strangers.
Let’s bring someone homeless to our home and make them, for one day, family.
Let’s show them that Jesus is real and that they are loved.
This time of year is our time, the Jesus follower’s time. Our time to put our money where our mouth is. To be hospitable, to offer shelter and food for those who are hungry and the ones the world calls outcasts.
It is our time to take in everyone, despite everything, and to show them Jesus.
If we, who claim to be the hands and feet of Jesus don’t show love to the oppressed, be certain that the evil one will.
He will entice and enchant them, then make them slaves to his depravity and hatred of all things good.
Don’t give the devil the satisfaction of beating us to the punch. Let us be the Jesus we claim to want to follow and lead someone to Christ by being the hands and feet of the Savior.
Make no mistake – Satan is working hard to win the souls of the lost and if we don’t work harder, he will win because he doesn’t give up if he doesn’t get a response on the first pass.
Be Jesus to the world and don’t give up just because you can find an excuse. Having an excuse doesn’t excuse us, but overcoming excuses and finding a way to be Jesus to the world shows our true alliance. We are with Jesus or not with Jesus. It is as simple as that.
Everyone reading this post is welcome to Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom’s house. You, for one day, will be our family, you will be warm and your bellies will be full. Must love, or at least tolerate dogs, though, because our place is lousy with them! 🙂