"And the crowds were questioning Him, saying, "Then what shall we do?" And He would answer and say to them, ‘The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.’" (Lu. 3:10-11)
Hey Gang: Thanksgiving is over and it is back to the grind or Black Friday shopping. Thanksgiving was different at our house one year. There was no "over the mountain and through the woods to grandma's house we go". There was no aroma of the fantastic feast that grandma spent days in preparing. There was no planting the seeds of love into the trimmings and preparation for the day for when the cars drove up the driveway and deposited those we love the most.
And so I tended to live that Thanksgiving Season in the past. Reviewing my prayer log, I went way back into my early years and tried to relive some of those fantastic Thanksgiving days. I remembered the year my daddy was injured in a coal mining accident and we did not have two dimes to rub together. It was going to be a very bleak and sparse thanksgiving but God would not have it that way. He laid it on my aunt's heart to share some of the bounty that He had blessed her family with.
I believe the seeds of giving were planting into my heart on that Thanksgiving Day. When God opened the door for development of the Village, He made it clear that the foundation of the ministry would be based on giving. I made a vow to Him that I would never turn away a child or family that was hurting and need of what He had blessed us with.
One of the high points that surfaced, in my recollections, was the years that the Village Chaplaincy Program provided food to more than a hundred families in the local area who would have been like my family when my daddy was injured. Turkeys, potatoes, carrots, biscuits and pumpkin for pies were purchased. The ladies prepared detailed instructions on how to prepare the foods, for we knew that many of the families did not have a clue how to roast a turkey.
So that year of no ‘over the mountain and through the woods to grandma's house we go’, we decided to seek out a family that was as we were, that year up on the mountain, and share our Thanksgiving with them.
We thought about finding a ministry that provided a meal to the homeless or the down and outers and offering our services. There was no lack of such places in our area, but each seemed to have all they need. I thought, as I looked at the list of places, that it might be better to spread these meals out. Perhaps a meal a week would provide for empty bellies.
We then thought about finding a family that was hurting and we would provide a feast for them but we could not find one. Food stamps, food banks seem to be meeting the needs of most but does getting food stamps from the government or a box of food at a local food bank seemed so cold to me. I liked the idea of the folks in New England that were hit by ‘Sandy.’ Families were encouraged to open their Thanksgiving feast to a family who lost it all. That seems to me to be "Going into all the world", as JESUS COMMISSIONED US.
Sooooo, Thanksgiving Day did not have much meaning that one year. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have been so very blessed in my life and so thankful to My Lord for his bountiful provisions. But it would have been so much more fulfilling if we could have shared some of those bountiful blessing with someone. I wonder if the government has not taken away the blessing of giving.