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A Thanksgiving Blessing

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2023 7:00 pm

A Thanksgiving Blessing

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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November 22, 2023 7:00 pm

In 2016, Wanda Dench sent a text inviting her grandson to Thanksgiving dinner, not knowing he’d recently changed his phone number. The text instead went to a stranger, Jamal. Jamal didn’t have plans, and so, after clarifying who he was, asked if he could still come to dinner. Wanda said, “Of course you can.” Jamal joined the family dinner in what has become a yearly tradition. A mistaken invitation became an annual blessing.

Wanda’s kindness in inviting a stranger to dinner reminds me of Jesus’ encouragement in Luke’s gospel. During a dinner party at a “prominent” Pharisee’s house (Luke 14:1), Jesus noticed who was invited and how the guests jostled for the best seats (v. 7). Jesus told his host that inviting people based on what they could do for him in return (v. 12) meant the blessing would be limited. Instead, Jesus told the host that extending hospitality to people without the resources to repay him would bring even greater blessing (v. 14).

For Wanda, inviting Jamal to join her family for Thanksgiving dinner resulted in the unexpected blessing of a lasting friendship that was a great encouragement to her after her husband’s death. When we reach out to others, not because of what we might receive, but because of God’s love flowing through us, we receive far greater blessing and encouragement.

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Hi, and thanks for joining us for another daily encouragement from the Our Daily Bread Devotional. Our reading, titled A Thanksgiving Blessing, was written by Lisa M. Samra. In 2016, Wanda Dench sent a text inviting her grandson to Thanksgiving dinner, not knowing he'd recently changed his phone number. The text instead went to a stranger, Jamal. Jamal didn't have plans and so, after clarifying who he was, asked if he could still come to dinner.

Wanda said, of course you can. Jamal joined the family dinner in what has since become a yearly tradition for him. A mistaken invitation became an annual blessing. Wanda's kindness in inviting a stranger to dinner reminds me of Jesus' encouragement in Luke's Gospel. During a dinner party at a prominent Pharisee's house, Jesus noticed who was invited and how the guests jostled for the best seats. Jesus told his host that inviting people based on what they could do for him in return meant the blessing would be limited. Instead, Jesus told the host that extending hospitality to people without the resources to repay him would bring even greater blessing. For Wanda, inviting Jamal to join her family for Thanksgiving dinner resulted in the unexpected blessing of a lasting friendship that was a great encouragement to her after her husband's death. When we reach out to others, not because of what we might receive, but because of God's love flowing through us, we receive far greater blessing and encouragement.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Luke chapter 14 verses 12 through 14. Then Jesus said to his host, When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors. If you do, they may invite you back, and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.

Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for inviting us to be part of your family despite all of our flaws and failures. May we seek out others who don't know you and invite them to join us at the table with you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thank you for listening today. My name is Brenna Holzgla, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-22 22:52:30 / 2023-11-22 22:54:00 / 2

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