I am home for Thanksgiving this year, back from a lot of wanderings. So begins my winter life (Soon this will be my view out my kitchen window).
In the travels of the last two years, people have been so kind. I have feasted and been fattened. By all of this, I am flattened.
This time, for once, I am not emptied and exhausted, thinned to a reed of need----but full. Overflowing. Wine running down the cut-glass sides.
In the OT, Samuel writes,
He brought me forth also into a large place:
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
I have felt that delight, though so often I doubt (God delights in me, in us??? My stubborn Calvinism protests. My bone-deep unworthiness refuses . ..)
But Samuel's words go on:
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness:
according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
My Calvinism protests even stronger. No, not according to my righteousness has He rewarded me! No, not according to the cleanness of my hands. Have I really kept the ways of the Lord? I know myself too well . ... . No, it is nothing but mercy, nothing but astonishing mercy that He attends to me, rescues me, drenches me.
(And so much of the time, He does this through YOU! Through ALL who have fed me)
And here I would rest---savoring and greedily gulping, swallow by swallow, all I had been given.
Then the phone rings. Then the email. Another email. Another phone call.
I am ready.
The cup tips. Wine spills. Prayers fall out, for healing, for a friend's daughter in the hospital, for a struggling son, for the victims of the fires, for a friend pouring out Jesus in a hard, far-away place. Cookies are made. A package mailed. Tears spent. My heart bent with the hurts of others.
But Bent gladly.
Here is what I have to say this week of Giving Thanks, today, though surely you know it already. Don't cover your cup. Let others pour in. Receive as from the Lord. (Yes, He DOES delight in you! Never mind your Calvinism that delights in groveling unworthiness.)
And then don't hoard it. Especially this week. Don't drink it all. It's been given to you so you have something to give to others. Invite them to your table. Even now. (Even AFTER Thanksgiving.)
It’s not too late.
The freed man standing before the King who would not free others?
The blessed man kneeling before the King who would not bless others?
The glutton given a feast with the King will not share with starving others?
This will not be us.
As you tip your cup this week, the drink you pour will fill ten
more, a hundred more glasses, and like that,
never will an end come to the feast
begun by One.
(And pass it on here! How have you been emptied and filled this week? You may yet fill an empty glass even now . . . )