SEEING THE STRESS & DRAMA OF THANKSGIVING AS AN OPPORTUNITY

Do you consider yourself a follower of Jesus?

Think about it . . .

Now, how did you come up with that conclusion?

What type of evidence did you present to plead your case?

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I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30

It is Thanksgiving week, and if you are like me you are already stressed out about what you are wearing. You are probably worried about how much you will eat, wonder how long you will stay before the triple-meltdown, and already want to just be home in your pajamas with a bowl of popcorn and a frustrating search for the right Netflix series.

There is something about home isn’t their? Something that calls to us. Is it comfort? Is it ease? Is it the fact that at home everyone has an equal value and there isn’t a need to compare yourself with others? Is it because at home, the house is fully baby proofed, or as we like to call it “Lucy-Proof”? Or is it because at home, it is easier to love people because you know they already love you back?

Maybe you will be gathering with family who are different from you. Maybe you are dreading seeing your siblings and cousins who hold different sociopolitical views than you do. Maybe you are stressed about what you will say, and how you may offend some people when you say “Let’s pray”. Or maybe you are already praying that your 2 year old doesn’t break anything. Either way, you are already stressed out and this is defeating the purpose of Thanksgiving.

As I have been preaching through the Gospel of Matthew, one thing has stood out to me is the unrestrained investment Jesus made with his disciples(followers of Christ). Think about it for a second. Jesus, the Son of God, invested in people who were unsaved, unbelieving, doubting, betraying, skeptics. He poured into lives who didn’t “get it,” who were different from Him, who held different sociopolitical views, whose identity rested in earthly things. To these, He chose to unveil the potential of the kingdom. To these, He revealed their truest value. It was these, that Jesus invested in while they were wrestling with unbelief and dead in their trespasses.

You want to be like Jesus? Take this great opportunity to invest in those who are different from you. Listen to, care for, love on people who might not ever believe. I will guarantee that there are people who are struggling with their identity, their value, and their purpose on this earth. Guess what? These are areas that we have all struggled with, admit that, tell that, and speak to that. Tell somebody what Jesus has done for you.

If there is one thing to be thankful for, it is the opportunity to love on people who’ve yet to know that they are loved by God. Be thankful for this beautiful opportunity to listen to those far from God, and speak into their lives with words of Hope. Last but not least, do not let the stress of the uncontrollable turn your Thankfulness into bitterness. Be thankful in the drama of life and in the beauty of forgiveness.

Love you so much.

I am thankful for you.

You mean the world to me and my family.

Thank You!

HM