In the American culture, holidays provide a unique opportunity for reconciliation because it’s not often that we intentionally spend time with those we are close to and those we might not normally connect with. Alexei Laushkin from the Kingdom Mission Society writes that Thanksgiving is an incarnate moment of Psalm 23:5:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
He goes on to describe that, “Thanksgiving often brings the juxtaposition of peace and reconciliation in the midst of ongoing brokenness in the life of any family. Thanksgiving puts relationships into sharp focus in a culture that doesn’t do relational intimacy very well.”
Research from The Barna Institute shows that often, Americans choose to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends. In fact, practicing Christians are 17% more likely to eat dinner with their neighbors than those with no faith.
Here is a snapshot of Barna’s research on how Americans interact with people in their neighborhood. Millennials are the most likely generation to say that their neighbors are like family (12%, compared to 3% and 5% among Boomers and Elders). In fact, 30% of Millennials include those who live nearby in their holidays or at their dinner tables.
This Holiday season, let’s be a Church that is known for loving and serving our neighbors. Here is a liturgical worship service that you can use in your congregation or small group to consider Jesus Christ’s call to love our neighbors. https://www.faithandleadership.com/preparing-love-and-serve…