(Feature Photo by Sarah Komisky)
How-To: Host Thanksgiving (Part 1)
By Michele Massie
Before I share some ideas about fall decorating, I wanted to share some thoughts and words from a message I heard that beautifully communicated why we as Christians want to open our homes with hospitality. I believe that, as we understand the truth as it relates to God’s Word, we will be given a platform intended to ignite a passion for Jesus to do a wonderful thing through us!
Sometimes when we think about hospitality, we get overwhelmed with all we have to do. Like putting the house in order, the time and care required to cook the perfect meal, the little details like keeping the conversation going- all things related to having to entertain. It can make our heads spin! It is a big sacrifice to open your home for Thanksgiving. We have to decorate festively and set extra places at our table. It is costly in time, money and work. It’s not always easy to open our doors to anyone, but beloved: “when we remember how we have been loved by Jesus and share that love with others, I think that is when our pots and pans become holy” (Zechariah 14:20-21).
The Gospel really is a message of hospitality. Jesus invites us to sit at His table, and He is always inviting Himself to sit at our table. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says the famous words, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with him and they will eat with Me.” Jesus is talking to believers. He’s telling us that He wants to have that kind of fellowship with us and wants us to eat with Him. So, He has opened the door for us to sit with Him at His Father’s table. Ultimately He died to offer us the most loving hospitality: to give us life so that we can come into the Father’s house. Jesus repeats those words in His final prayer before His death: “Father I want them to be with Me where I am” (John 17:24).
How do we not grumble about hospitality when our heart is not into it? How do we have a love that gladly offers hospitality? Beloved, pray and ask God to help you! It is Christ in us that satisfies our need for “grace and reconciliation” and it is the Holy Spirit who will enable me to pursue hospitality and love others deeply with joy (1 Peter 4:8-9)… leaving those who receive totally blessed!
Acts 2:2 says: “They broke bread in their homes.” Believers have been sharing hospitality since the beginning of the church. I have found when we break bread together something special seems to happen as our barriers dissolve and “our hearts begin to open.” As believers, it’s something even more special because it’s connected to the Gospel and our hope in Jesus, which is hope in the ultimate promise of Hospitality.