"Happy Thanksgiving Eve!" Those are words we probably don't here very often, if ever. There is All Hallow's Eve or Halloween, Christmas Eve, and even New Year's Eve - but Happy Thanksgiving Eve? I wonder why that is the case. Maybe because the nights before each of those other days have certain rituals - Trick or Treating, attending a worship service, or staying up past midnight to welcome in the New Year. So, why don't we have a celebration the night before Thanksgiving?
Now I do realize the "unofficial" ritual for Thanksgiving Eve is for the person preparing the meal to go shopping and start cooking. But, maybe there is something to that -- it is a form of hospitality. Remember that hospitality is more than just following Martha Stewart's recommendations for a perfect Thanksgiving. From a Christian viewpoint, hospitality begins with Christ, who is the Host at a feast provided for sinners like you and me. Christ serves his guests. So maybe this Thanksgiving Eve, we can begin to think of ways to welcome others because we have each been welcomed to God's table.
When I was a kid, our family would go down to Georgia Tech and invite one or two international students to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. One year we went, but the student we were supposed to pick up was not there, so we took his roommate - a Korean graduate student whom we called "John Huang." John ended up coming back to our house again and again, and I will never forget the hospitality my parents showed to him. Yet, when he eventually returned home to Korea, I felt like we received as much as we have given -- if not more. So, look for some way to show hospitality to others today in preparation for Thanksgiving. And Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
-Psalm 100:2, 4
Prayer for Today
O God, you invite us to eat at your table, not because we are good, but because we need the bread you have to offer. We thank you for inviting us and for being the perfect host. Help us to share that same hospitality with others this day. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.