There is nothing more basic about sharing and serving than feeding people. Whether the people you are feeding are your family, your friends, or people in need, it makes no difference. For most people, feeding your children and family comes naturally, but we are all family…
A few days ago, I cooked for the Thanksgiving meal and opened my home to feed my family. In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is holiday and ceremony of giving thanks for a harvest and the bountiful meal that early settlers shared in the earliest days of United States history. It can be attributed to the “pilgrims” of the first colonies in Plymouth, Massachusetts which was colonized by people from England. Originally it may have been the offering of thanks to God for leading them to New England and providing food for them and their Native American neighbors. The local Native Americans probably helped to save these early colonists from starvation by showing them how to eat local fish, shellfish, meat, and vegetation. The act of sharing of food in this meal as a community became the core of the sharing of the Thanksgiving Day meal. Americans having taken this ritual to the highest levels of gluttony and so American families hold the expectation that Thanksgiving will provide a meal that will be rich and overdone. It has become a time of family gathering, sometimes over extremely long distances, to come together and to over-eat.
Many people (and families) choose to celebrate the bounty of thanksgiving by volunteering food and service to help feed less fortunate people. It offers a chance to feel good emotionally and to “give back” for the blessings of good fortune that have graced their lives. Whether you volunteer to feed the needy or host family and friends, we celebrate the gift of giving. AND, as a guest, know that you are also giving a gift of allowing others to give to you. Receiving is a blessing for the hosts and the people who volunteer to offer this experience of giving to others.
The ritual of sharing food has existed since before written history. It is not an exercise provided just during the “Holidays” and it is often needed more throughout the year than just at Christmas or Thanksgiving Day. The feeding of children, veterans and their families, disabled people, and our older folks are needed now in America more than ever before. It has become a sad necessity of living in our declining civilization that we must share food and support with family, friends, fellow church members, and other people in need.
But this is not about politics or economics, it is about the spirit of giving and sharing. For me, the act of feeding people becomes a satisfying act of feeding my soul… Please consider your role in sharing with others. Remember, also, the value of receiving in this equation and I send a special thank you to the people who shared my table for Thanksgiving for allowing me the gift of cooking the meal for you.
Find the best way to feed your soul & spirit. Make time and energy for this endeavor. Perhaps, you can find the best way to serve.