- the expression of gratitude, especially to God.
- [in North America] an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621, and is held in the US on the fourth Thursday in November.
- Bethany’s favorite holiday.
Thanksgiving, the day of the year when friends and family come together to fellowship and be reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness. Thanksgiving dinner, the time when friends and family contribute to a feast, each dish hand-crafted.
My family Thanksgiving consists of a multitude–grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the extra loved ones [our family friends]. Most years my father makes the mashed potatoes because, well, no one makes mashed potatoes like my father. I have missed those mashed potatoes for the past three years, since coming to school. But I love Thanksgiving because everyone contributes, everyone brings their piece of the meal.
This year I celebrated Thanksgiving early with my home group. We each signed up to bring our unique, hand-crafted dish. I am not passionate about cooking and if I did cook, no one would want to eat it [which is a problem when you are celebrating a holiday that revolves around food]. So naturally I came up with the wisest solution: bring drinks and ice. I would say I am winning.
Thanksgiving: everyone brings something, everyone contributes. But I was thinking: what happens when I have nothing to bring, when I feel as if I have nothing good to give. And I felt the Lord saying, “Bethany, you’re still invited to my table.” I recognized that the Lord is the one who sets the table, the only thing required of me is to show up. In those moments when I choose to sit, he is ready to fulfill my every need, unconcerned with emptiness residing in my being.
My prayer for you today is Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
So here is to sitting at His Table empty, and to being filled.