Thanksgiving provides a great opportunity to serve others.
Rather than spending the whole day crashed out on the couch in a tryptophan-induced coma watching football games you don’t really care about (not that it’s wrong to crash on the couch or watch football – I’ll probably spend some time in a tryptophan-induced coma myself), try reaching out to your family members, especially if they are unbelievers. Thanksgiving is a great day to imitate Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve. Here are a few ideas:
Take a genuine interest in them. Ask them if they’ve read any good books or seen any good movies lately. Ask them how it’s going on their job. Ask them about their children. If your grandfather or grandmother is there, ask them to tell you funny stories about their childhood or if they have any good stories from when they were in the Army.
Taking an interest in people is fun. If you have a relative who’s a lawyer, ask her about her most difficult case. Ask her if she’s ever said “I’ll see you in court” to someone. Ask her what she likes most and least about her job. Ask her what she does to try to persuade juries. Ask her what the funniest thing that ever happened in court was.
Serve their children. Get down the floor with their kids and play with them. Do an art project or craft project with them. Play hide and seek or “I spy” with them. Try to make a memorable Thanksgiving for the kids.
Take an interest in the teenagers. Ask them what movies they’ve seen lately or what music they’re listening to. Ask them if they’ve seen any funny YouTube videos. Ask them about any sports they’re playing.
Help set the table and clear the table. Wash the dishes. Try to be the biggest servant in the house.
If you’re as selfish as I am, you’ll need lots of grace, so don’t forget to ask the Lord to give you the desire and the strength to serve.
I’d like to have some more ideas for how I can serve my relatives – any you can share with me?
Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Saving Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have five children and five grandchildren.
Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.