I like to celebrate each day as a holiday, as a holy day. But we are now at the time of year where our calendar is full of holidays. This week our whole country will stop and celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Families and friends all over will get together and eat turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie. People will count their blessings one by one, giving thanks to God for all of their happiness.
Our Bible story today is a Thanksgiving Story. In fact, it is a Thank You card from Jesus. Jesus thanks you and me for feeding Him and clothing Him and welcoming Him and giving Him medicine and just hanging-out with Him. But wait? Jesus was a man on Earth 2,000 years ago; we live here now. How could we have fed Him and clothed Him then? Because Jesus is also alive today. He is alive in our hearts–in my heart, in your heart, in everybody’s hearts. So whatever we do to each other, we are, in essence, doing unto Jesus. By feeding others, by giving clothes, by just hanging-out with others, we are welcoming Jesus today, here and now. Jesus wants us to know that He appreciates our kindness to Him through our family and friends and neighbors near and far. Jesus knows that sometimes it is hard to recognize Him in others; other people may have Jesus hidden away inside themselves. But we know where Jesus lives. And we must treat others as if we are serving Jesus Himself because, as Jesus tells us in this story, we are. Of course, we want to treat Jesus very well!
So this holiday and every holy day, as we offer our thanksgiving for all of our blessings, let us also generously share food, and clothing, and peace, and love, and joy, that we may be worthy of Jesus saying Thank you to us.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)
for Your gratitude.
to see You in others
that I may be worthy
of Your thanks.
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