Bring it to the table - a different Thanksgiving



Things are different. As Thanksgiving approaches, typically our thoughts might revolve around family and friends. Of gathering together, of food, food, more food and yes, thankfulness.

Thanksgiving, the holiday that helps us push the pause button and reflect on what we are thankful for is hovering in our midst and we’re not sure what to do.  Every November, we immerse ourselves in traditions. Often, these traditions help us reflect and bring to the surface the things we are thankful for. Yet, we have been told to shrink this holiday into a small number, a computer screen, or whatever.  I don’t even know.

Is it that simple? Not really.

During this usual time, I wonder what I can contribute to the family gathering besides a hearty appetite. Usually, it’s a dish to bring to the table where we gather to break bread and together celebrate the welcomed pause with a bit more intentionality. The pause happens at the table. It's when all the preparation is presented for everyone to relish.

But it’s going to be different this time.

This act of gathering pours into who we are and many will be missing this. Now, the combination of mixing food with family and friends has been changed and for some, broken. So, what do we do in this seemingly permanent state of an interrupted life? Is it possible to still celebrate and give thanks? Is it possible to bring something to the table?

Yes, it is. While it may not be with a side dish or a sweet dessert, a different opportunity presents itself. Something you wouldn’t think of bringing to the table. It could still be a hearty appetite, but one that involves the heart instead of an empty stomach.

What if this Thanksgiving we bring our disappointments, losses and fears to the table?

What if it’s a conversation with God, asking Him to satisfy the empty places in us that make us hungry for things that really don’t satisfy? One thing is certain, the conversation is a path to experience communion with God. This moment is an opportunity to bring ourselves to the table, humbly and honestly. To bring an offering that God welcomes and transforms in our hearts. Communion.

Jesus says, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…” (Matthew 11:28)

The world has changed and if we’re honest, so have we. We may not even recognize who we’ve become. But God knows. He knows because he made us and knows everything about us. And the things we bring to the table are the things He can speak to with His tender love and mercy.

This Thanksgiving, as you gather at the table, bring your appetite. Break open your heart. You may be bringing something that, if given completely to God, could change your life.  It is here, in a moment of surrender, a moment of communion, where you will find rest.  Rest from the things that have made you weary and burdened. All you have to do is show up hungry.


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