So, it’s Monday after Thanksgiving, and God so blessed America (certainly your home) that you are still – OH MY GOD! – trying to finish off those turkey and casserole bits and even some of those desserts that just never end (and neither does you waist). There is just sooooo much there! And you are grateful, but maybe you secretly are suffering gratitude fatigue. No?
Oh, yeah. I searched the web for new recipes too, and I found a great way to finish off our turkey which turned that holiday meal into a spicy Mexican inspired dish which surely helped another helping of that burdensome blessing go down at our house too.
Somebody drop down and give the post an AMEN!
And God has blessed us. We almost lost our democracy, some of us are still sure we did a couple years ago. Inflation bogs us down, and yet somehow, we manage to emerge from pandemic with a huge celebration that just won’t quit. And you don’t want to seem ungrateful, unhopeful, or uncaring, but those leftovers are beginning to wear you down (not to mention this long out you wonder if some if it is still even safe to eat).
Agent X is here to help.
(Oh, I know! A blog site for homeless ministry, and you find the perfect solution for those Holiday Leftovers Blues? Who knew? Right?)
3 Simple Ideas
Here’s how you handle this problem discreetly, tastefully, and completely in line with honoring the God who so blessed you far beyond anything you deserve:
1-Thanksgiving Blessing Bags
Yeah, blessing bags with a twist. You know those blessing bags you have been reading about on the web for years? Yeah, those same blessing bags the youth group is now championing at church? Yes, those baggies with fresh socks, a toothbrush, a few single-use hygiene products, and a granola snack or two in it that you keep in the glovebox of your car or maybe in a box in your trunk? Yeah. Those thingies.
Well, here’s the twist. Pack a bunch of baggies (or better yet recycle those plastic cartons you bought a ton of last week which were full of sour cream, cool whip, heat-n-eat mashed potatoes and whatnot, and fill them with leftovers. Then load up your clan in your gas guzzling SUV to go driving over to the rich neighborhood to see the Christmas lights, only swing by skid row on your way there and pass out your leftovers to the poor and needy. If you are resourceful, you can cut your leftovers in half or more AND feel good about yourself in the process!
(Let’s face it: Greenbean casserole is pretty good, but it’s horrible microwaved later. And honestly, it’s not as good as it was when Grandma made it 25 years ago. So, yeah. SHARE THE WEALTH!)
This idea is a twist on the twist in the blessing bags. You do mostly the same thing again, only this time you pack all the food into a family picnic celebration. Yeah, just like going out to watch fireworks in July, only this time your family will wear coats. You can still go see the Christmas lights after you eat, if you like, but in this case, you plan to actually sit and eat WITH the people you bless. Yeah, find out what it’s like to observe Thanksgiving on the curb. Take some containers for the leftovers from the leftovers, because a few of these bums will have a friend they want to take some to later, and that also rids you of your overabundance! All while blessing God and feeling good about yourself! You can’t beat this!
3-Hosting for Thanksgiving
Okay, maybe I wasn’t completely honest just then. You can beat that idea, BUT you really must plan ahead because you’re too late this year to do it now. But then again, if you pull off the first idea this year, the second next year, then in a couple years you are more likely to feel comfortable pulling off this one which is the best of all.
When you make your Thanksgiving meal plans, set the table for two or three bums, then send your uncle, the Christian one who always wants to argue his conservative politics at the holiday table because he thinks it honors Jesus, yeah, that one, send him out to find some bums to bring in and quote Luke 14 and Matthew 25 at him so he will take you seriously. The extra guests you host will eat into your bountiful blessing big time! In fact, if you worry that there’s not enough, you are finally celebrating God’s blessings the way they were meant to be celebrated! (Read the feeding of the 5000, if you don’t believe me.)
Oh, and when Uncle Jed is backing away from the table to unbutton his pants and argue his politics, load the bums up with extras (there’s those blessings bags with the twist again), and send him to take these bums back to the streets where they can share their blessings with their street friends.
Of course, you gotta plan ahead for this one, but when you are finally ready to live for Jesus – REALLY LIVE FOR JESUS, you will find it an exciting joy to be a part of. It’s almost as good as being there at the party with Jesus when he turns water to wine, when he breaks a few loaves and fishes for thousands, when he breaks the bread and reveals himself, and when he turns the Passover into Eucharist – the THANK YOU MEAL of the Apocalypse!
Don’t you WANT to follow Jesus on those dusty Galilean trails, to see him face-to-face, to hear his voice, to be with him? Doesn’t discipleship, when you REALLY think about it, sound adventuresome. Are you tired of the leftovers? Are you tired of that twinge of guilt you feel for having SO MUCH when your neighbors have so little?
Thank about it.