As we prepare for the holiday, let's think about what kind of feast Jesus would love.
- Then he turned to his host. "When you put on a luncheon or a dinner," he said, "don't invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will repay you by inviting you back.
Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the godly, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you."
Iím sure Jesus didnít mean that we should leave out our family and friends. God calls us to love our family and respect our parents. Heís telling us we should also provide hospitality to those who are in need and who are unable to return the favor.
Who in your neighborhood or town is in need of your hospitality? Perhaps an elderly person on a limited income and with no family close or someone living on unemployment or on welfare. Remember past Thanksgiving feasts when there was more than enough food prepared to feed the family and how you may have over-eaten? They say the average Thanksgiving dinner contains 3000 calories per person. This is three times the need per day.
Could you afford to open your home to one or two more? If that doesn't sound workable to you, why not have a second Thanksgiving feast for those in need of food or of God's love. There are other avenues. Soup kitchens and shelters are always in need of helping hands and donations of food.
Throughout the Bible God has commanded us to care for the needy.
In the book of Leviticus, written around 1444 B.C, God gave the Hebrew people rules for holy living.
- Harvesters were commanded to leave some of the crops in the field. They werenít to pick up every bit of grain, every vegetable or piece of fruit. They were to leave some at the edges of the field and in the rows. The poor could follow along through the fields and gather food for themselves.
The landowner thus provided food for the needy while giving them the dignity of harvesting their own food.
Around 970 BC Solomon, the wisest man alive, wrote in
- Those who are generous are blessed because they feed the poor.
I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into you homes. Give clothes to those who need them and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
God has blessed us with abundant provision. He didn't mean for us to keep it to ourselves and to hoard it. So take stock of the many blessings you have received from God's hand and open your own hand to those in need of a bountiful meal and loving hospitality.
Christmas Memories by Lynne Waite Chapman
Get to know some of your favorite authors as they share their holiday memories.