Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Table Manners

Sweet Southern Prep posted these table manners last week that originally come from Jack Hayford, a minister in Van Nuys, California. When I saw these I thought they would be perfect to pass along for everyone to read before we part ways for the holiday this week. Some of them even have verses to go along with the main point. Enjoy your Sunday!

Thanksgiving Table Manners

Come home and embrace the family.
For many people, there’s at least one family member we aren’t looking forward to seeing at Thanksgiving. But the challenge is that we are called to embody the love of God and embrace them. And if you’re the one asked to bless the table, don’t pray an evangelistic sermon at those who don’t know the Lord. Give thanks and pray about how much God loves every person there.

“I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.” (1 Cor. 11:17)

Regard your host with proper praise.
Anyone willing to host a group in their home for Thanksgiving deserves honor—if not a medal—even if the food they serve isn’t as good as yours. Go with gratitude, and regard your host with proper praise.

“I received [this Table] from the Lord...” (1 Cor. 11:23).

Enjoy the feast for all it’s worth.
Folks, this is not a day for dieting. Go for it! Over the years, I’ve found a tremendous joy in fasting a day or two earlier in the week to prepare my heart before the Lord. (Be sure to start eating again the day before Thanksgiving, so your system is ready to enjoy the feast!)

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Cor. 11:26).

Unusual prayer is fitting here.
This is a day when we ought to give more dimension to our prayer. It’s not that brief prayers are insincere, but at the Thanksgiving table, it’s appropriate to make time for gratitude—for the family, for the gift of life that has sustained us to this point. And thank the Lord for our nation. Whatever may be America’s failings, God has been merciful to us.

“For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” (1 Cor. 11:29)

Wash your hands before you eat.
That may seem unnecessary to say, but it’s one of the keys laid out by the apostle Paul as he wrote about manners for the ultimate thanksgiving Table.

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup...For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (1 Cor. 11:28, 31).

Do all you can to share the day.
Every time we partake, we proclaim the Lord’s death. We share the day of salvation at the Cross, and today is the acceptable day of salvation.

Don’t miss dinner, even if you’re late.
Last year, a couple of our kids had to go to another dinner, and they arrived late. But it didn’t make any difference because we were all together. There are people who haven’t come to “Dinner” yet, but it’s not too late. Until Jesus comes, the invitation is still open. So you come!

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