And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving with “the Indians”?

When I think of the first thanksgiving I dwell on the wonderful blessings of God’s providence. In that celebration feast the “Indians” came to the pilgrims to feast over three days. God was glorified. The Indians were honored for their service to these newcomers, and a precedent was born.

This Saturday my family and I get to have our turn at one of several “Thanksgiving” meals we will soon celebrate. Over the years we have adopted several international students who attend the local college. Often they visit us at home, come to the kids basketball games, and are included in many of our family events. Saturday we will find ourselves sharing the story of the pilgrims with Nigerians, Ethiopians, and Indians, as well as students from Viet Nam, the Philippines, and Dubai. By the way, the Indians are actually from India, not North America.

The students love this meal. Before we dine, we take time to share the story and meaning of Thanksgiving. We also share around the table what we are thankful for. Then my wife, a Tennessee gal, serves us some southern cooking. We will have turkey, real cranberry sauce (Not can shaped), biscuits, and a huge favorite with those from India, gravy! There will also be pumpkin pie and the students all time delight, sweet potato casserole, heavy on the marshmallows.

I get excited at our family’s turn in playing host to folks far from home. In many ways it is like the first Thanksgiving. There is an essence of glorifying God by involving our lives for the gospel benefit of others.

As a sad postscript, none of our friends from India were able to make it to the meal. However, we were thrilled to add a student from Hong Kong. I had originally written this article some days ago, and the essence is still worth posting. My thought remains, “if God has commanded us to go to the nations and share, if they are in our back yard we ought to invite them on in”. Thus I write to encourage you, reach out to those who are different, those who are from other lands, do this to the glory of God.

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