What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:10–11 (NIV)
Growing up, my Thanksgivings in Alabama involved eating and visiting with family, napping, and then watching football and eating leftovers on Friday. When I married, I became part of a large Cajun family with slightly different Thanksgiving traditions. Cajuns know how to cook, and they know how to shop; therefore, shopping on Black Friday is part of their Thanksgiving ritual.
One Thanksgiving, I had my husband’s entire family at our home in Atlanta. I’m not all that big on shopping, but I wanted to participate in their Thanksgiving tradition. To make the shopping trip meaningful, we obtained a “family list” from the DHS Family and Children Services. The sheet had an entire family’s Christmas list, from things they needed to things the children wanted.
On Thanksgiving, we located the desired items in the sale papers and circled the things we’d purchase the next morning. We all woke predawn and got in line with the masses at the stores, with all of our shopping going toward the family’s Christmas. Excitedly, we purchased every item on their list. I haven’t had another Thanksgiving where I felt so blessed, so grateful for what I had, and so thankful for the desire God gives us to help others.
The verses in Luke 3 tell us what we should do regarding helping others, and if we follow through with the command, we also see the beauty in Acts 20:35 (niv), when Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Faith step: Call your local DHS and obtain a family’s Christmas list. Make Black Friday plans this year to shop for them and feel the blessing of giving.