Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thanksgiving Blessings 2010

For a fifth year our church is hosting Thanksgiving Blessings, an event that will distribute 1,200 full bird, turkey dinners on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. While benevolence is the heart of Jesus Christ it is also a challenge. You see, Jesus ultimately did not come to feed hungry stomachs but to save empty souls. But during his earthly ministry Jesus did amazing things, acts of benevolence to prove that he was the Christ.

The New Testament also speaks of the compassion of Jesus on those who had little and were suffering. Our goal with Thanksgiving Blessings is to meet a human need in order to earn the right to preach Jesus and meet an eternal need. For five years now Thanksgiving Blessings has been the most significant evangelistic event our church conducts all year long. I also like Thanksgiving Blessings for another reason: it restores human dignity. Coming to ask for help is hard enough as it is. But we felt very strongly that there was something special about enabling people to cook their own Thanksgiving dinner in their own kitchen rather than stand in line for a meal with a bunch of strangers. I am not criticizing soup kitchens, they are the ER of benevolence ministry to those who actually have no family. What we do is a different benevolent touch all together. In a land of plenty we believe everyone ought to have the dignity of cooking their own Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. So that is what we give away, no strings attached. A full bird turkey and a box of everything someone needs to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal: sweet potatoes, corn, bread, dessert, eggs, cranberry sauce, and much more.

It costs $25 for a family in our church to sponsor a Thanksgiving Blessing for another family and our folks embrace the challenge with enthusiasm, many people donating multiple dinners. And then it takes over 300 volunteers on the day of the event to register people, counsel those who accept Christ, baptize them, and distribute food to the whole group. It’s an amazing coming together of humanity in our city. And when it’s all over with, I always feel like I am the one that has been blessed.

As you prepare for your own Thanksgiving traditions, let me encourage you to consider how you can be a blessing to someone else.

1 comment:

MI Christmas In July said...

I stumbled across your blog when I set up an Google Alert for "benevolence". The alert has been set up for about 9 months and I haven't received many "meaningful" links up until recently. It must be the holiday season is upon us and so we think and talk a little more about benevolence (interesting). It sounds like your Thanksgiving Blessing has helped many in your area and it's great that you can get the volunteers for such a major undertaking. May God continue to bless you, your church and your community. And thank you for your Blog.