This Thanksgiving, there will be plenty of opportunity to talk with your family and friends. Waiting for the food to be done, sitting around the table eating, and relaxing after the meal provides ample time for conversation of all sorts. Remember too that you will most likely be enjoying the day with people of many ages, political leanings, perhaps other religions (or no religion) and beliefs that may differ from your own. These discussions could turn heated and I think this is one reason why many people dread the holidays.
Back in 2011 I wrote a post entitled “What to talk about at the Thanksgiving table”. With today’s political climate in this country, I think this is important enough a topic to repeat many of the thoughts I had then.
So what are some good topics for discussion?
How about giving thanks?
This seems almost obvious, but I don’t think that we as a society or as Christians do this often enough. This doesn’t have to play out as a “let’s go around the room and tell everyone what we are thankful for” exercise, but this is something that should just come up in idle conversation.
Despite many of us going through hardships, we still must remember that the some of the poorest of us here in the US would be considered wealthy in other nations. But since it is really relative, how about giving thanks for our abundance by giving to those in need. This could be giving to a food cupboard, handing out Thanksgiving dinners to those less fortunate, or perhaps just buying a cup of coffee for a stranger that has a need. We should give thanks for what we have today, for as we know it could be gone tomorrow.
Remember those who came before us.
Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to talk about the good days when some of loved ones who have passed on were still with us. Perhaps remembering past holidays when they were still with us. Perhaps it is a good time for those of us in the older generation to pass on some history to those in the younger. Sharing our memories good and bad will help keep us all thankful to God for what he has given us.
Also remember those who gave us the ultimate sacrifice to defend and make this country free. Those who served, deserve our thanks and those who died in that service deserve our remembrance and thanks. For without them, we would not have these freedoms that we have today and that so many take for granted.
Simply enjoy one another
This might be the last time some of you get together. This may be the first time in many, many years you’ve seen some of them. Enjoy your time together, don’t let the petty things get in the way. Why spend your day angry at one another, when you share so much with them. Enjoy our time, even with your differences.
I think this is important at any time. Share the love of Christ with others. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are preaching to anyone, but you are simply being that light of the world, that beacon of hope that points others to Christ. Let others see the joy that you have in Christ. Be prepared to answer questions of why you have this joy in your heart and be prepared to be the salt in the conversations around the dinner table.
James 2:18 says to show your faith by your deeds, by your actions to others, your responses to not so wholesome conversation, by your love of the unlovable. Live that out and you will share God’s love without ever speaking a word.