Column: Thanksgiving a time of gathering

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, November 7, 2023

By Kevin Corley | Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)

Thanksgiving always reminds me of sitting at the “kids’ table” in my grandmother’s home, laughing uncontrollably with my cousins between shovels of pecan pie. Something happens when you share a table with someone. We see each other better. Walls come down as conversation flows. Rough edges get smoothed off as laughter increases. To quote author Rosaria Butterfield, “Strangers become friends and friends become family.”

At the heart of Christianity lies this message of welcome. God pays the price for rebellious sinners and then welcomes us in, not as strangers but as family (Galatians 4:4-7). How amazing! We were running away from Him, but He came after us. He rescued us and brought us home! As the Apostle Paul puts it in Romans 15:7, Christ has welcomed us. And he says we should welcome one another in the same way. If God, by His grace, has welcomed me to His table to enjoy fellowship with Him, then I can do the same for you.

I realize not everyone has fond memories of Thanksgiving. Sin has broken our families and marred family gatherings. Many are alone or impoverished on a day that should be marked by togetherness and gratitude. Christianity tells us this will not always be so. If we turn from our sin and trust in what Christ has done, we can know that God accepts us and will never cast us out. We may also begin to experience healing and forgiveness in our relationships with others now. This is what the church is meant to be, a place of welcome and renewal for broken people trusting in Christ.

To that end, Grace Fellowship welcomes you to our table for a Thanksgiving Feast on Tuesday, November 21, from 11am-2pm. It will be in our Fellowship Hall across from Martin Funeral Home. It’s open to everyone and is completely free. Come and experience the welcome of Christ!