Before I move on to December and Christmas, I wanted to share a couple reflections of Thanksgiving. It seems like such a long time since I have posted. A special luncheon on the 16th, a six day trip to Nashville, Thanksgiving and a full weekend afterwards, now brings me to the last day of November with a full heart. I have experienced so much in the last two weeks that my cup really does overflow. Little has been routine - much has been remarkable.
In my last blog, I had mentioned an object lesson of sorts that I was preparing for Thanksgiving. I wasn't sure how (or if) it would go over, so I didn't want to recommend it untested. Now that I've used it twice, I can say it was a meaningful addition to Thanksgiving. It could easily be incorporated at the Christmas table as well, or any other time of year. In fact, on a regular day, it may be even more powerful. No one would be expecting anything special.
Before the meal was served, we gathered at the table, younger children on laps, and I began to pour sparkling cider. The only thing that was different was that I had put small bowls under each of the glasses. I talked about how in the ancient East, a host used the cup as a symbol of how welcome his guests were. If your glass was not refilled, you had worn out your welcome. In contrast, if the host wanted you to stay, he would keep your cup filled, not always to the brim but sometimes overflowing. I made sure all of their cups were literally overflowing. I talked about how they were welcome at our table and even more importantly, how we are welcome at God's. He beckons us to stay. After reciting many of His blessings one by one, I said "Our cup overflows." I talked about how we need to be grateful, not just for the cup but for the contents; not just for enough, but for the extra. As a memento, in a round tin, I put a (TAC hydra) sponge. I wrapped the tin in Willoughby paper and where the band of paper met, put a tag on with pop dots that said "My cup overflows" – Psalm 23:5. I gave one to each family as a reminder that we need to absorb all the 'extra' in our lives. We need to see it as a blessing and not a mess! I did it for two families on two different days and for the most part everybody "got" it and loved it. Even Warren, a man that I am guardian for that has multiple disabilities, exclaimed, "WHOA!" with delight each time a cup overflowed. When I got to him he watched with joy as his sparkling cider ran down the side of his glass. He looked at me with a big smile, folded his hands and said, "Pray?" Yep, I think he got it!
Tomorrow we will turn our calendars to December and the Christmas Season will officially be upon us. Let's enter will full hearts, thankful for what we have, ready to share with others. I'll be posting a challenge in the next day or two that my daughter and I gave each other. Until then, keep your eyes open for the overflow.