Each week we will explore one of the seven “I AM” sayings of Jesus, and consider how each statement of his identity impacts how we ought to live today. Each week will also offer a Lenten Challenge to help us begin to live with a growing awareness of the need for Christ’s presence in our world.
Feb. 18 “I AM the Bread of Life”
Feb. 25 “I AM the Light of the World”
March 4 “I AM the Gate”
March 11 “I AM the Good Shepherd”
March 18 “I AM the Vine”
March 25 “I AM the Way, the Truth, & the Life” (Palm Sunday)
April 1 “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” (Easter)
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week with family and friends, I’ve noticed that at least in both my family and my wife’s family, we’ve moved from the “one cook” model of Thanksgiving Dinner preparation to a team effort. It used to be more common for the matriarch of the family to cook for days and spend the whole holiday stressed out with kitchen management. Now, families more often seem to collaborate, with each sub-unit bringing a part of the meal as an offering for the feast.
I love this. To me, it’s a model that not only makes practical sense, but also honors the theology of shared gifts and abilities. Many families and churches have a “one cook” model, where one or perhaps a handful of people do all the work. But ideally, everyone brings something to the table, in both the church and in our families. “We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us” (Romans 12:6).
As you gather with family and friends this week, be intentional about recognizing the ways everyone around the table has gifts and abilities to share. Some may be more gifted in the kitchen; others bring joy and laughter, still others are great listeners. Be thankful for all that each person brings to the table, and name that as you sit down for dinner. Affirm each others’ gifts, and thank God for the gifts and the people with whom you feast.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
— Pastor Erik