I love Thanksgiving and Martha…

November 3, 2011

I probably use the word “love” too loosely.

For example, I often say, I just love Martha. Though I suspect it is not the Martha that you are thinking of. If you guessed Martha Stewart, you are right that I greatly respect her business ability and drive. Her skills and creativity are boss. She is definitely someone I’d like to meet; and yet the Martha that I looove, is someone whose last name I don’t even know.

My Martha is an old-school home-ista from way back. She lived during Bible times and became famous because she was a dear friend of Jesus. We don’t have a ton of details about her life, but the things we know are fascinating.

She was the eldest of three siblings who lived together in a large family home. One of her claims to fame is that she had a passionate desire to serve and enough confidence in her homemaking skills to invite Jesus and his entourage home for dinner after church. The story is told in Luke, Chapter 10. Can you imagine having such affection and assurance that you would just say, “Good Teacher, it would be my great honor if you and all your associates came to our home for dinner? Will you come?” At a minimum, she was signing up to feed thirteen-hungry people and that’s a lot of work.

Many of us will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year and it includes entertaining thirteen people. Our thoughts about the work load might be total anticipation, a high level of trepidation or a combination of the two. It seems that my self-assured Martha had a little of both, because the reality of getting a big repast on to the table caused her nerves to get a little frazzled.

Here’s what I mean. After the guests arrived, things must have not been going as planned. It eventually got so bad that Martha said to Jesus about her sister Mary, “Pastor, would you please tell my lazy little sister to get in the kitchen and help me get the vittles on the table!” Jesus replies with both humor and sincerity in His voice. “Martha, Martha. Dear heart, Dear one. Mary has chosen to spend time with me to learn about God the Father. She is being blessed by our conversation. This is waaay more important than getting an elaborate meal on the table at a certain time. And I won’t take that away from her.” Then I imagine, that Jesus motions for Martha to come and join them… and she does. (This is the home-ista version of the story. To get the precise reading please check it out in Luke 10:38-42.)

One of the reasons I love Martha is because we share a similar flaw. Sometimes we just go – too far. We get laser focused on the specifics of what needs to happen, such that we forget why it is happening in the first place. I bet Martha invited Jesus to spend time with Him, not to impress Him with her leg of lamb. This is not so say that the meal didn’t matter. To be clear Jesus doesn’t say, “Forget the chow, woman. We don’t need it.” No, he says, remember what is most important.

Over the next few posts, I will be sharing some of my favorite tips and strategies to help us prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving Celebration and Feast. Along with these specific how-to’s, I will be reminding all of us home-istas, to keep the most important things as the most important things.

And – what are the most important things related to the celebration of Thanksgiving in the 21st century? To me they are:

•      Giving thanks to God for His presence and provision.

•      Connecting with people whom we care for or who care for us.

•      Enjoying a delicious meal that brings back good memories of past times.

•      Using the comfort of home to help to create new positive memories.

So before we dive headfirst into details of the cooking, the cleaning, the entertaining, and the being a good guest, let’s focus on some ways to keep the most important things most important.

These have helped immensely at the Wilson Tribe celebrations:

  • Set a grateful tone by adding “thanksgiving” Bible verses to your place cards or table settings.
  • After dinner, gather up the crew, young and old to have a big round table discussion. We printed the following list of questions and then cut them out so that one question is on it’s own slip of paper. We put them in a hat or basket. Each person draws a slip and then shares the answer with the whole group. This little exercise has sparked some of the best and most meaningful conversations.
  1. Name a person – who is not in this room – that you are thankful for and why?
  2. Describe a blessing that came in disguise. It did not look like a blessing at first, but became one. 
  3. How has God shown faithfulness to you this year?
  4. How will you plan to be a blessing to someone next year?
  5. Name one possession that is on your “I am most thankful for” list and why it’s there…
  •  Have some enjoyable activities ready to go for those who want to participate. Play board games, have a card (euchre/spades/rummy/bid wiz) tournament, get your Wii on, line dance, ladies watch some of the football game with the men folk, set up a craft/coloring table for the little kiddos, go for a group walk, have a family touch football game, break out the old picture albums, sing karaoke, take pictures and text them to other loved ones, etc, etc, etc…

I’d love to hear your ideas to keep the THANKFULNESS in Thanksgiving. What say you?

Home-ista Kelly

P.S. Martha’s other claim to fame is that Jesus raised her brother from the dead, but that is a story for another time.

P.S. P.S. All posts will not be this long.

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6 Responses to “I love Thanksgiving and Martha…”

  1. La'ReneGB said

    Homeista Kelly, what awesome suggestions to fill the home and our hearts with love and peace… Looking forward to more!

  2. Stephanie Hart said

    Hi Kelly,

    I just started my Thanksgiving Day project planning. Thanks for the tips. We usually just go around the table and say what we’re thankful about. I will incorporate some of your ideas.

    Keep the blogs coming,

    Stephanie

  3. Tracy Bennett said

    Thanks Kelly! I will definately add the questions to our Thanksgiving meal. it will surely spark great conversation.

  4. Marcy F said

    What a great way to ensure the “thanks” remains in Thanksgiving! It will be both fun and meaningful to incorporate these tips into our family celebration.

    “Thanks” Kelly!

  5. 2magics said

    This is exactly what I was looking for to complete my Thanksgiving celebration. We’re making a few changes this year. Traditional dinner with conversation and more activities. We’re including a walk on the track to catch some fresh air and get some exercise before the big feast, wii dance off (more exercise) and now we can include the list of questions. It will be fun to hear what the younger group will say. Thanks from a home-ista follower

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