This morning I was sitting at my dining room table trying to come up with something profound or witty to post on Facebook, and, as is often the case when I try to write my sermons for Sunday mornings, my mind was blank and I couldn't think of a single thing to write. So as my mind wandered over a cup of coffee, it dawned on me that somehow, my house ended up with not one dining room, but three dining rooms. The house wasn't built with 3 dining rooms, it was only built with one, but somehow over the years we transformed two other rooms into formal dining rooms. I never really gave it much thought, but today it struck me.
3 dining rooms.
Why in the world do I have 3 dining rooms in my house? Then it came to me. How important it is that we share meals together. The Scriptures give so many examples and stories of not only Jesus and his disciples sharing meals, and sitting around a table telling stories, but even the Old Testament patriarchs and the grand meals they shared. Then I started thinking about Thanksgiving. And the meals we will all share tomorrow. So many of us if not all of us will be having friends and family over, or visiting loved ones, eating turkey and all the trimmings, but do we realize it is not about the food, but the company who shares with us? Does it really matter if the turkey is not exactly right, or the mashed potatoes are little lumpy? Or, instead, does it matter who was there? Does the china need to be spotless and perfectly matched?
In my house we have our friends over nearly every day. We fellowship and share with so many people every day that it is no wonder how we ended up with so many dining rooms. Thinking about it, we are blessed with so many friends; we have conservative friends, liberal friends, democrats and republicans, Christians, Jews and even Muslim friends, black friends, white friends, funny friends and even grumpy friends. Gay friends, straight friends, Catholic friends and Protestant friends. And we all get along whether or not we agree on the 'issue du jour'. And around our dining room tables we have great discussions, debates and share thoughts and ideas sometimes well into the wee hours of the morning.
We've shared sorrows and joys, listened to friends brag about their kids or held their hands as they cried grieving a loss. Yes, on Thanksgiving, it is a day we get to eat a lot of food, but if you look, really look, it is really not about the food, it should be about the people who gather at your home. Whether a small intimate gathering, or like our home, 3 dining rooms full of people of all backgrounds, remember, when we give Thanks to God for our blessings, first look around you. Your blessings are staring you in the face...and staring at that slightly dried out bird on the table. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, my friends, and pass the gravy...