Nearly 30 years, when the little church I grew up in decided to spend Thanksgiving Day serving a meal to those less fortunate at the Long Beach Senior Citizen’s Center, some told them that it wouldn’t work. “Who would want to spend Thanksgiving Day away from their families? No one’s going to do that!”
30 years later, they are still doing it. And so am I. Each year, new people join the effort. Some are from public schools. We’ve had Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops join us. Some are random people who the church doesn’t know at all, but just want a place to serve on Thanksgiving. This year, my own children got to participate. What a blessing! Anna went out in the hall beforehand and spent some time talking to some of the elderly. Some had homes and some didn’t. Some had children, some didn’t. But, each of them had a story…and Anna was going to find it out.
The kids from church sang songs while I doled out stuffing and Emily took plates of steaming food to those who were about to get the best meal they’d had in a while. After serving everyone once, we gave out seconds and gave them food for the road. When all was said and done, 150-200 people that had full bellies and had felt loved than had earlier that morning.
Later, when we ate ourselves, the food tasted better because it was indeed received with Thanksgiving…for we realized that we have hot food and love each day. It is more blest, indeed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). I’m thankful for churches like the Los Altos Church of Christ who have enough vision to see the blessing of Acts 20:35. I’m thankful that I grew up there, where I learned the truth of the Word made flesh. And, I’m thankful that even today, they give me the chance to teach my children that what Jesus says is true. It is more blest to give than to receive.