• Sara Chapple

The Hokey Pokey

What if we get to heaven one day and find out it really was all about the Hokey Pokey? How shocking and disappointing! But it would make kindergarten seem a lot more profound.

But I think it’s safe to say that is not the answer.

So, what is it all about?

And more specifically, what is Thanksgiving and this season all about?

Football? I won’t go there. But I will say “Go Cowboys!”

Food? Let’s talk more about that tomorrow.

Shopping? Black Friday deals? Coupons and door-busters?

Cooking? Family recipes?

Housecleaning? Table setting? Decorations, centerpieces, place settings, napkin rings, tablecloths, place cards???

There are so many options vying for our attention. Trying to be what it’s all about.

Big celebrations tend to do that. It can be hard to remember what they are all about.

Weddings can be like that. So many details to decide and keep track of. So many things to go wrong or go right. One of the benefits of getting married at 36 was that somehow along the way I’d learned it was only about one thing that day: people. One person in particular, the hot guy in a tux at the front of the chapel. :) And just being surrounded by family and friends.

But don’t just take my word for it:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Jesus came because he was all about people. And everyday he was on the earth his focus was on: people.

People are what matters. Everyday. People are what matters on Thanksgiving.

The other stuff is not evil. Jesus went to parties and ate food and enjoyed life. But his number one priority was ALWAYS people.

Today is just a small reminder for us to remember what it’s all about before we get caught up in the hustle and bustle.

Odds are we are going to be surrounded by a bunch of them soon. People.

They matter. They are image bearers of our God, whether they realize it or not, we need to realize it. And maybe let it change us a bit.

How can we approach Thanksgiving differently knowing it’s all about the people?

What if we prayed a prayer beforehand? Asking God to use us, to speak a word of encouragement to someone who could use it?

What if we were intentional about talking to someone we didn’t know well or haven’t seen in a long time? Can we learn something new or could we get to hear a funny story? (and maybe decide to laugh even if it’s not our particular brand of funny?)

Or what if God wants to use someone else to speak to us? If we halfway listen to every conversation we might miss a blessing.

What if we don’t decide ahead of time how someone is going to act or behave? Could we assume and look for the best in everyone?

Just some ideas. Maybe you can come up with a few of your own.

How can we choose to remember now and on Thursday that it’s all about the people?

Before we know it the turkey will be gone, the leftovers too, the game will be over (yes, hopefully with a “W” for the ‘boys.) and the deals will all be done.

Know what we'll be left with? Yes, maybe a pound or two to work off at the gym, but people.

You’ll be left with people. All the people you encounter next week - after it’s all said and done - will you know them better? And they you? Will you be closer? Will they feel more seen and loved?

What would leave a more lasting impression - that we had the perfect centerpiece? Or that we had the perfect word of encouragement in their time of struggle?

Hear me - I am not saying we throw out our centerpieces! We just don't let our focus be on a wilted flower so that we miss the wounded spirit sitting behind it.

We are people too. God wants to bless us this Thanksgiving. He will do that through his people.

Let’s be open to being blessings and receiving blessings this Thanksgiving as we focus on what really matters: people.

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