what will your table look like this holiday season? the Luke 14 challenge

Our holiday season is fast approaching- only 22 days until Thanksgiving and 48 until Christmas!
 
This fall, something has really been on my heart, and I want to share it with you all. It started with these words of Jesus in Luke 14:12-14:
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
 

My friends, we are going to be holding feasts in the next few weeks. To us they are important, wonderful celebrations of joy and thankfulness. We have traditions of all kinds, more gifts given and received than any of us can count, and we love it. I love, love, love the holidays. Cool weather, warm fires, yummy foods, family, and all the fun things that come with the winter season- we have been given such wonderful gifts.

But for so many people, the holiday season may be much different. For the poor it's a reminder of what they don't have.  For the disabled, the holidays might be a lonely time. For the bitter, it’s probably a time of misery. For the single, it can be a time of great sadness. For those who are grieving this year, it may be the hardest season they've ever experienced.
 
I think Americans have done a good job in providing food for the poor on each holiday. Many have a place they can go eat a warm Thanksgiving meal for free. But how many have a warm and happy home they can go to as well?
 
That's why I'm excited to bring you guys a challenge this season.
If you're in, you have over seven weeks to accomplish your mission.
 
Are you ready for it?
 
Invite someone you wouldn't normally invite to your feast this year.
 
Share your feast with someone who doesn't have a loving and living home.
 
It's really that simple.
 
I’m calling it the “share your feast” holiday challenge!
 

 
Open your hands to the poor, your home to the needy. Be the hands of Jesus to them as you welcome them into your home this year.

Show them- show them the love of Jesus firsthand by loving them and welcoming them into your life. Money doesn't change people's lives. Free food doesn't change people's lives. Jesus does. And He wants to do it through us.

 
When we open our homes to the poor, and welcome them into our lives with love, we are displaying the hope that is in us- seeing them like Jesus saw them and us both- broken, and in need of Savior. It’s simple, but I have a feeling it won’t be easy.
 
Will it be strange? I'm guessing it will be. It's not easy to change what we know, and inviting someone different than us may challenge our families and seem awkward at first. I feel like that is almost a sure thing.
 
We love the comfort of the familiar. But isn't that the most dangerous thing? Our comfort? This world is not our home- we have to be careful not to make life here more important than the life that is to come.
 
Imagine what can happen when we share the Gospel in person, with the lost, and when we give up our most precious holidays for someone else? What will that show them?

I think of my sweet friends whom I admire so much- the ones that have fostered and adopted children into their home. They are doing this very thing- opening their arms to the broken, the poor, the lonely of this world, and showing them the love of Christ in their own home every single day of the year. Those little ones no longer have to be alone every holiday- they get to share the feast with their new family.

 
In comparison it seems a small thing to open our home to do the same one or two days a year, right?
 
This is something anyone can do- no special skills or talents required, and that extra mouth can be fed at your table for very little. If your family dinners are like mine, you have more leftovers than you can stand to eat anyway!
 
Open your arms to someone who needs it this year- use the gifts you've been given to share the love of Jesus with others- this is what biblical homemaking is really about. It's about being the light in the darkness- the city on a hill- to those around you. Your home is your city- your ministry of hope in Christ. What a sweet opportunity to share what we've been given with others!
 
You can make a difference, even under the roof of your own home.
 
Love others. Welcome someone in with open arms this season. Or maybe at least just invite them!
 
Will you take the challenge? Let's do it together! What do you say?
 
Leave me a comment if you want to “sign up” and try something new this holiday season. I will manually add your name to the bottom of this post {and I'll add your site if you are a blogger too}. Let's encourage and hold each other accountable in this adventure! :D
 
I can’t wait to see what our Father will do when we work in unity for His name! Oh, please, please pray for this you guys- pray that His will be done and His glory will be made known among the people this season!
 
joining the challenge:
2. Heather from Four Loud Monkeys
3. Michelle from All That Glitter
4. MWTouch94
 
I'll be posting more ideas on where to find people and how to show hospitality to strangers in your home {something I'm learning too!} in the following weeks. I'd love to hear your ideas, and welcome any guest posts on the topic as well!



21 comments

mandyBH said...

I'd love to add you to the list too since you guys are doing it anyway, if that's okay?

mandyBH said...

Wohoo!! Yay! Thank you girlie! I'm so thrilled you're in!

mandyBH said...

YAY! I put your screen name on the list, but I can change it to whatever you'd like! So excited!

Michelle Wimp said...

i thot i already responded but sign me up, i'm going to forward this to my in laws who we are with during Thanksgiving, but they are as always inviting everyone (and taking food to shut ins ) to holiday meals so this is right up their alley. i AM going to do this for Christmas when we are home! sign me up momma!

Michelle Norris Wimp said...

count me in, we arent home for Thanksgiving but i'm goin gto talk with my in laws where we are. i know she will ablsolutely go with it. but for Christmas i'm going to do this!

Mwtouch94 said...

I want to sign up! I so recently read this verse in my quiet time. You've confirmed God's sweet words spoken in my ear.

Mary said...

I'm blogging about it today, too! YAY! :D

mandyBH said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear! thank you for your sweet encouragement!

mandyBH said...

wow! that's so cool that your family did that!! So exciting that you are doing it too!

mandyBH said...

oh, awesome! can't wait to hear!!

mandyBH said...

YAY Mary!! Definitely counts!! I'm so thrilled! wohoo!! :D I'll add you!

mandyBH said...

wohoo!! yay!! Will add you to the list asap! :D so exciting!

Loud Monkeys said...

We're in! I had take a split second and sent a quick email to Hubs, but we're a go! Now we just need to pray over our invite list!;) Go girl with your Holy Spirit nudgings...love it!

Heather @ fourloudmonkeys.blogspot.com

Mary said...

this is awesome. like, seriously amazing! you have blessed me, girl, and challenged my faith and heart! this is what blogging is about. RIGHT HERE. encouraging, uplifting, and challenging believers in a Christ honoring way! we have our Holiday feasts at our family's, but i am going to make a point to either invite them there{my hubby and i have talked about this many times, but never felt like we could}, or have someone{s} over in the meantime! does that count! SO excited! thank you thank you thank you!!! :D

oh yes...SIGN ME UP!

Jaime Weis said...

I second Jenniferkindle...let me forward this to family first, since we eat with them...but I havr a feeling they'll be up for it!

Jenniferkindle said...

ouch!!! i want to say, "count me in" but I don't want to be the ding bat that said I would and didn't!!! So...let me ponder this challenge....we go elsewhere for Thanksgiving but I'm totally thinking I can do it on a different day this month. Thanks for the challenge...again, ouch!! Thank you for holding us accountable to God's calling.

NotSoRandomStuff said...

this is such a good reminder, I think I was blessed by amazing parents who regularly asked "who else can we invite?" we shared our holiday dinners with all kind of people because of their loving and kind hearts, something that we are trying to carry on in our home! thanks for the encouragement to keep it up!

Smitteeroot said...

This was a great message for me. We have broadened our invites and are looking forward to opening our doors and hearts for Thanksgiving to new guests. Thank you for the reminder.

Keri McDonald said...

Mandy, I love this! We will be going out of town for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and attending events that others are hosting. BUT - I'm considering how we can do this, at least "the week of." Your words are moving and well-written, not as condeming conviction but the kind that is energizing and empowering! So I'm going to keep my eyes peeled and my heart open as we prayerfully consider how to make Luke 14 real in our lives!

mandyBH said...

Oh that is so exciting! I can't wait to hear all about it! Yay!

Sent from my iPod

Melissa Deming said...

We're in! We are inviting a Chinese family that lives in the apartment building next to us. We're new to the area, so we're renting. But so it seems that God has orchestrated our friendship. It will be difficult because most of my "hospitality" items are in storage and our townhome is small, but we're hoping our hearts are bigger than our space! Please pray for us - we want to show them the love of God in a real, tangible way!

Melissa @ www.melissademing.com