My mother Earlene believes in sharing and being kind to others. On Thanksgiving Day when I was growing up, my mom would drive to a nearby children’s home and pick up a few extra kids to bring to our home for dinner. We were already a family of seven, and in my opinion, we didn’t need more people to grab the turkey drumstick. But she felt these fatherless and motherless children deserved a home for the holidays.
What would happen if I stepped outside of my comfort zone and invited someone to my house for Thanksgiving? Maybe a person who couldn’t get home (to another country or a far-away state) to celebrate this season with her own family? I would feel awkward for a while. And then I would get to know someone new. I would grow. And improve my life. And “use the gift of this day.”
Perhaps we could offer the gift of a day and ourselves to someone else this Thanksgiving. From a prayer in the old Lutheran Book of Worship we promised to “offer with joy and thanksgiving what [God has] first given us—ourselves, our time, our possessions, signs of [God’s] gracious love.”