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.
What a lovely setting. I am always looking for new ideas for dressing up my holiday table. I have the gourds already. Perfect.
Thank you, Gina! I love that you do a Thanksgiving table. Don’t you just love it when you can use what you already have? It’s the only way to go!
Looks so cozy! And you’re absolutely right – we can let the details suck the joy out of an occasion if we’re not careful! Great reminder for us hostesses. =)
I have noticed here lately that if I get grumpy and stressed about preparing for an occasion, it really affects my teenagers’ attitudes about the occasion itself or about hosting things. I so don’t want to sour them towards “hospitality” by making it chore when it should be a blessing to both the giver and receiver. As much as anything, this was a post to myself so that I can pass on the joys of hospitality and not the “have-to’s.” Plus, I want to bless the Lord, right?
Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors
What a beautiful Thanksgiving table! I love all of rich color…so pretty!
Thanks, Shannon! I always admire the way you use color!
This is beautiful, Stacey, and beautifully written. I agree with all! I’ve not met you before finding you today at Tablescape Thursday, but it’s so nice to meet you, my sister. I’ve been reading in John over the last week, and I read your description of Mary and Martha on Jesus’s visit several days ago. This morning, we returned to their home six days before the crucifixion and after Jesus brought Lazarus back to life. I love God-incedents like that! I pinned an image so I can find you later. I’ll return to read more sometime in the near future (I hope). 🙂
Oh, Kim! Wow! That is amazing. I have loved visiting your blog! It is just gorgeous, and I love what you say about using skill and knowledge to help others. I can’t wait to read more!! I think we might have been separated at birth!