This will definitely not be our typical Thanksgiving. Oh, the family will gather as usual, and there will be turkey and all the traditional trimmings. And since I am Korean, someone will most certainly bring kimchi, and hopefully my favorite noodle dish, jap chae. My daughters, Joy and Mary, will hang around expectantly while I carve the turkey, waiting for the wishbone that they always break to see who gets their wish. And Maddie, our huge English mastiff will, of course, try to make a stealth raid on the table once it’s filled with food.
We’ll take some time to sit down together, and give everyone an opportunity to share what they are thankful for this year. My 18-month-old grandson and a granddaughter on the way will top my list. Before dinner is ready, we’ll watch some football on TV, and after dinner we will either go to a movie (whatever’s being currently released) or watch a movie together at home. Then we’ll have a second round of turkey and trimmings, before dividing the abundant leftovers into portions for everyone to take home.
But this year, there will be no “guess who’s coming to Thanksgiving dinner.” Being pastors, my wife and I normally open our home and abundant Thanksgiving feast to our church members who have nowhere to go. They may be singles or students living far away from family, or members who have no family, or perhaps no means to furnish their own Thanksgiving meal. We never know exactly who will appear on our doorstep prior to dinner, but almost everyone brings something, and the table always overflows with more than enough food.
You see, this year we’re moving right before Thanksgiving, and there will be plenty of boxes vying for space. So, we can only accommodate immediate and extended family. I will miss our church family members and the way the joy, and even the food seems to multiply with their presence. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time to reflect on our abundance and share it with others.
Typically, as people multiply on our doorstep, I imagine another day, 2000 years ago when Jesus hosted an impromptu dinner for 5000 men and their families. The people had been listening to Him teach for some time, and they were tired and hungry. Jesus turned to his disciples and in essence said, “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” He asked them, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
The disciples must’ve thought He had lost his mind. They didn’t have enough money to buy food for all these people! They scoured around and looked for food, but only found one boy’s lunch of 2 fish and 5 small pieces of bread. Jesus didn’t seem the least bit stressed for He knew the Father’s heart. He took the small lunch, and gave thanks to Father God, and told His disciples to distribute it to all the people. The food just kept coming until everyone had eaten, even had seconds, and were well satisfied. There was such an abundance of food that there were 12 baskets of leftovers! (John 6:1–11)
I love that story because it’s so beautifully illustrates the abundant goodness of our Father God. With Him, it’s never just barely get by. No matter what we need, just like Thanksgiving, with Father God it’s always abundance, more than enough! (2 Corinthians 4:15)
Come join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM. We are continuing our discussion on the goodness of God, completing our series, “Grateful for God’s Goodness.” I will be speaking at both services. Happy Thanksgiving!