Jesus is very clear about protocol for parties: “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be—and experience—a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned—oh, how it will be returned!—at the resurrection of God’s people” (Luke 14:12-14, The Message).
My church decided to take Jesus literally this Thanksgiving. We hosted a meal for families who depend on our Food Pantry and residents of homes for mentally disabled adults in our neighborhood. There were about 150 volunteers who did everything from setting up the room to cooking the meal to providing transportation for our guests. Somewhere around 200 guests enjoyed the meal, the music and the door prizes (Northminster t-shirts and Walmart gift cards were a hit). What a great night!
Here’s a video that will give you a sense of what the Thanks and Giving Celebration was like: