Thanksgiving. What comes to mind when you think about Thanksgiving? For me, Thanksgiving is a time when I use all of my senses, especially my sense of smell, as I enjoy the aroma of a house full of the smells of delicious food. There’s just something about those foods cooking that takes me to Thanksgiving and the fellowship I enjoy with my family this time of year.
It’s interesting to note in the Gospels how many times food is a part of Jesus’s life and ministry. We remember the time he fed 5,000 and the miracle of that story.
Jesus also used food and drink to remind his followers that he expects us to provide for others, especially strangers.
One of his most powerful and poignant uses of a meal is found in Luke 14:1-24, where Jesus tells two parables about inviting people to a meal and addresses the person who was hosting him. What connects these stories and many of the other times Jesus speaks about food and celebration is inclusion.
For Jesus, food meant including others, like the poor, the stranger, the crippled, the lame, those considered outcasts. In fact, in Luke 14:23, the man giving the big dinner in the parable tells his staff to, “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
Jesus wants his house to be filled. He wants all of us to enjoy the feast.
I’m grateful again this year for the generosity of so many people supporting our work who make it possible for us to open wide the ministries of Buckner and invite in so many children, families and senior adults. I’m thankful you heard and responded to the message of Jesus, that when you do it for the least of these children of his, you do it for him.
There is perhaps no word in the English language more overused than the word “thanks.” We end most of our emails and text messages with it. We say it as we’re hanging up the phone.
So, please hear me say it from my heart – thanks. Thank you for partnering with us again this year as together, we go into the highways and hedges to serve vulnerable children, families and seniors.