As we prepare for the thanksgiving “Season”- some key item to keep in mind is the importance of having the spirit of gratitude and a real understanding of Christian Hospitality.
As a mother of seven children, life is busy, and I can start to forget about the real blessing of Christian hospitality and the blessing of being able to fill my table with lots of extended family.
I know this day needs to be grounded in faith, family, and fun! Our homes and churches should be places where everyone feels at home through the simple warmth of a warm hello and greeted with a smile. No one should ever feel that they are a burden, but instead, they are “Family” welcome to partake in the life and rhythms of the home, including “jumping in” and helping out if needed. In short, all that is needed to be an excellent host is a loving heart like that of Jesus, an open ear to listen to others, and eyes that see Christ in each person who crosses the threshold. This type of attention goes a long way!
Let us discuss essential aspects of the Thanksgiving day, to have a heart full of gratitude and understand the gift of Christian Hospitality.
1. Don’t forget to say Thank You to Jesus! Thank the dear Lord for all we are blessed with! Many churches have Mass so families can thank Jesus for our many blessings!
The Holy Eucharist Means: The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The term “Eucharist” originates from the Greek word eucharistia, meaning thanksgiving.
Don’t forget to pray for family members who have passed on, and once you spent many holidays with them! Plan out who will offer the blessing, even if you have a special prayer!
Do you attend Mass as a family? With a brother who is a Catholic priest, we love to pause the cooking and head to his Church to partake in the greatest meal, the Holy Eucharist.
2. Gratitude! I love to include significant Scripture passages and share items you are grateful for after we begin the meal with a blessing! This list is at the bottom of the post.
3. Don’t get the little things to get you down! Our attitude needs to reflect that day! If you are the chief in the kitchen or the child cleaning the house for company, your attitude influences your hospitality.
4. Hospitality has nothing to do with being or appearing perfect! Hospitality means openness to what guests and strangers bring to us and being attentive to their needs out of the desire to serve them!
5. Getting past “Pinterest Perfect”: Hospitality has been ruined over the years to think that our house needs to be “perfect” to host big events! The truth is a willing spirit is where we need to begin.. And maybe get some “mentors to help teach you.”
6. Choose what matters most to you to focus on! This is true with all big holidays; choose a few items that mean the most, such as table decorations and meals. But you can care less about the dessert tray (such as buying a few pies) or if the house is “amazingly” clean!
7. Create fun– What are you going to do when people come? Could you set up a little schedule, so it helps your guests and family to know what to expect- such instructions as we are going to eat dinner at 3:00, feel free to come early for football in the yard, and a bond fire after dinner? Maybe a simple craft or just help with final details.
8. Many hands make light work– DOn’t forget to ask others to help you with the meal! From cleaning up and doing the dishes to preparing dishes to share with the group. It might not be your favorite sweet potato casserole, but it is always wonderful to include others!
9. The Gift of the Rosary: What about closing the day with a family Rosary? Consider thanking God and praying the great prayer that unites us as Catholics, the Holy Rosary, at the end of the day or a decade of the Rosary!
10. Consider having some guided Dinner Conversation Starters– Set your family up for success, and have fun topics to discuss, such as My favorite thanksgiving memory includes:
- What is the best side dish I ever had?
- I recall a thanksgiving where and when…
- I remember when my mom used to prepare… get the elderly to share their memories of family gatherings.
- What are we celebrating?
- What is something you appreciate about the early pilgrims?
- What daily convenience do you take for granted?
- How can I be generous with others during this Thanksgiving Season?
Copy and Paste Scripture and hand it out to the members to read to remind us to be grateful!
- Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicle 16:34
- “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
- “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
- “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 1:4
- “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
- “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4-5
- “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
- “But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” Jonah 2:9
- “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7
- “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High.” Psalm 50:14
Scripture List from: https://www.countryliving.com/life/a28471370/thanksgiving-bible-verses/