Friday, November 19, 2010

Table Manners

Soon, very soon, we are about to begin the beautiful Thanksgiving and Christmas Season!  We will be gathering together with those we love and care deeply about throughout the year.  These are very special times because from those times, memories are made that are deep and lasting within our hearts.  Traditions that are important to families are honored and established  and then passed on generation to generation.  Everyone, I hope, has special memories attached to these holidays.  Webster's defines a memory in this way:  the act or power of remembering (something good)!!!  I added the part in the parenthesis.  Memories establish and empower us to move forward in our lives. When my husband and I married and established our home, we chose to begin with traditions that centered around our faith and belief in Jesus Christ.  We wanted our children to glean from the Scriptures the TRUTH that is found within the Word of God and teach a spirit of thankfulness and giving to our children.  I believe we succeeded, and I say that very humbly, for God is always at work in each life that is given to Him and all of us are on a spiritual journey.  God has blessed us and I am so very thankful.  The blessings I am describing are relationships.  A great joy for me, personally, is the love and laughter and trust that our adult children have between one another.  This is a great gift!

In the Bible, one of the most lovely and beautiful stories can be found in the book of Genesis in chapters 42 and 43.  Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers because they were jealous of him and his relationship with their father.  The father and son relationship was special because Joseph had been born to Jacob in his old age.  The Bible even says that Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons and gave to him a richly ornamented robe to wear.  Favoritism is never good, but our God used the situation for His Glory and good.  Ultimately,  after being sold, bought, and sent to prison, Joseph ended up becoming "IN Charge"  of all of Egypt.  This was a time of abundance in the land,  and wise Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain for the nation.  But soon, the time of abundance ended and there was a great famine in the land which spread over the whole country.  Famine was severe in all the world.  During this time of hunger and need, Jacob sent ten of his sons to buy grain from Egypt, for he heard a wise man had stored up as much as the sand in the sea.  When his brothers came before Joseph and bowed down, he recognized them but pretended not to.  As the story goes, the brothers go back with grain and come back again for more grain and this time, Joseph invites them for dinner.  He gave them water for washing, fodder for their animals, and each a gift.  The men were seated in order of their ages and served large portions of the finest foods available. They feasted and ate freely with him according to God's Word.  Still not knowing who Joseph truly was, they were astonished that they were being treated so graciously and of course used their finest table manners to express their gratitude!   When he finally revealed himself to his brothers they could not believe it!  They all wept and embraced!  You can just imagine the scene of disbelief, forgiveness, mercy, and unconditional love.  Total acceptance!  God's love is like that for us.

In the time of famine when Jacob's family could not produce grain on their own, The Father had stored away, awaiting their arrival.  He wanted their hands in His.  Where are you hands?  Are they in His?  During this glorious season when we will all be with loved ones, I pray that God will allow us to love unconditionally as we place our hands in His and bring out the finest table settings and manners we possess.  Those, my friend, are the best kind of manners at the table......embracing all who have gathered!  Blessings to you and your family during  this beautiful Thanksgiving season!!!!

1 comment: