Last Thanksgiving, I received a lot of feedback from a blog I posted. It seemed to touch on a tender topic for many families. This week I’m reposting part of that blog to again remind us about acceptance in our homes. Sometimes we have to take a step back from what we think we know about each other and allow curiosity and openness to reveal what’s new. Of any years in our lifetime, 2020 and 2021 are surely the years to bring a fresh approach to how we view our family.
Believe it or not, Jesus went through awkward and painful scenarios with His family. In Mark 3, the uncensored version of how His family responded is described: “But when His own people (His family) heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”” (Mark 3:21) It’s almost as if His family was saying Dude, you are a carpenter not a rabbi! What the heck, man? The brothers of Jesus later grew accustomed to His new position and encouraged Him to go to Jerusalem for essentially a publicity hype to boost His popularity. Scripture doesn’t sugar-coat it by summarizing: “For even His brothers did not believe in Him.” (John 7:5) Jesus later defined family as “whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)
Jesus spent the majority of His life in His family household. But His family only knew Him in the flesh. The did not know Him in the Spirit. They didn’t know His purpose or calling. They had to grow and process new information about Him just like everyone else. Many people He grew up around could not accept Jesus for who He became. They questioned, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son?” The passage concludes, “So they were offended at Him.” (Matthew 13:55-57)
Is there offense in any of our gatherings? Have we judged people for their choices in the past? Do we know each others joys and sorrows? In our homes over Thanksgiving, people we have known in the flesh will be gathered around our table. Instead of looking at them in the flesh- the way they speak and interact, the ways we’ve always known them to be, why not look at them with spiritual eyes? Ask God to reveal His calling on their life. Ask God to give a glimpse into HIS heart for our families.
God alone knows what encourages us. He sees our heart. This Thanksgiving, allow the Holy Spirit to usher in a refreshing presence of curiosity and acceptance. Surely this is the heart of creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion—the message of my book, Gracious Living. I love uncovering ways we can encourage and honor the people gathered at our table.
Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving! I’m traveling for the next few weeks but I’ll be back to the blog later in December. Be sure to gift my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion to all the treasured friends in your life this holiday season.