He escorts me to His banqueting table, and it is obvious how much He loves me. Song of Solomon 2:4
The makings of real Thanksgiving table is not about being perfect. It’s about being hospitable. It’s about the intimacy of a shared meal, the catching up, the retelling of family tales, and the commitment to honor the old and new of family.
And even though I want to talk about the joys of setting a good Thanksgiving table, rich with plaids and checks, and making the most of what you have, my mind keeps returning to Mary and Martha and the different ways those two sisters viewed hospitality.
Mary and Martha opened their home to Jesus while He was visiting their town of Bethany. Luke 10:40 says that “Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities.” Who can blame her? Jesus was at her house. Can you imagine? Could the house ever be clean enough? Could the food ever be good enough? Could there ever be enough preparation?
As Martha set to her preparations, she let the work of being a good hostess get in the way of what true hospitality is all about. And as a result, the joy was sucked right out of having Jesus in her home.
Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another… Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 1 Peter 4:8,9
True hospitality is not about us, our home, or even our food. It about our guests. It’s about the anticipation of shared moments. It’s about togetherness. It’s about giving.
So this Thanksgiving, my challenge is that we not become so focused on the “what” of hospitality that we lose sight of the “why.” If table settings bring you joy, then by all means, dress the table. If my Thanksgiving table setting inspires you to grab a fringed throw or scarf and layer up your table with mixed and matched, passed-down dishes, and fill the center with pumpkins, nuts, and pine cones, then my heart will thrill.
But whether you use all of these ideas, only one of these ideas, or just enjoy the pictures, have a warm and welcoming Thanksgiving filled those family and friends you love the most.