"share your feast" holiday challenge 2013


This challenge has been heavy on my heart this season already. It started as a burden I felt two years ago, and though you may have seen it here before I want to share it all with you again!

It all started two years ago 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 might be a reminder of what they don't have. For the disabled, the holidays might be a lonely time. For the bitter, it’s likely to be a time of misery. For some who are divorced or 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 in their lives.

Many of the financially less fortunate may 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 the next several 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 like to call 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, the hurting, the lonely, the unkind, or even just someone who doesn't have anywhere to go- and welcome them into our lives with love, we are displaying the hope that is in us- seeing them like Jesus saw us all- broken, and in need of love and a Savior. He loves them and He loves us all the same. We are celebrating and sharing that when we invite others into our personal lives. It’s so simple, but I have a feeling it won’t be easy.

Will it be a little weird? 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- when we give up our most precious holidays for someone else? What will that show them?

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! Just a simple invitation can open doors. Even if they don't come, they know you cared!

Will you take the challenge? Let's do it together! What do you say?

If you ask the Lord, I know He will provide a chance for you to do show love to someone over the next six weeks.

Leave me a comment if you want to “sign up” and try something new this holiday season. I will 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!

He can do it!! I'm so excited to see and hear what He will accomplish through you!!

21 comments

Kelcie said...

I will absolutely join you. As a matter of fact, I am wondering if God sent me the person I should reach out to yesterday (maybe He knew this challenge would be presented)! Thanks for kicking it off!

KristaD said...

A great idea for those in a college town is to ask international student groups if any students would like to come and experience an American Thanksgiving. Many of these students would just be stuck in their dorms on this day otherwise. Our family has hosted international students for a few years now and they enjoy seeing how we celebrate as well as offering some of their culture's food as well. I'm so excited to share this Holiday with 10 other Muslims, Koreans, etc. Also, What a way to share your faith in a simple way! *note that there may be certain foods some cultures cannot eat for religious reasons so try to be hospitable and have choices.

Anonymous said...

We are opening our home on Thanksgiving to University students who can't go home this year :)

~Jennifer

Joyce Woehler said...

I'm in! I have wanted to do this in the past, but never really looked into it. I lost both my parents this past year, and I know they would have approved of having their seats filled by someone who needs love and fellowship during the holiday season. I pray God leads me to these people soon. I need to do this maybe more than someone needs to receive it.

Katie Taft said...

This has been on my heart for a few days now and I was feeling lost on who I'm suppose to invite. Then you posted this and I am encouraged and excited. Sometimes I can have a hard time hearing the Lord even when he puts a clear answer right in front of me. I will be praying that he makes it very clear! :D God spoke through you today to confirm what he had already put on my heart.

Rebecca W. said...

We are inviting 2 Chinese college students we have "adopted". They don't have any family here, 1 lives in the dorm, and neither have a car, so they would otherwise be stuck on campus for the holidays. Looking forward to having them with our extended family, showing them what a Southern Thanksgiving meal looks like!

Liz said...

We are inviting a young man whose family doesn't live here, and then found out his parents will be visiting, and will be here as well! We may have one or two others coming...mostly younger single ones who have no family out here.

Teresa R said...

I'm in; and praying for God to reveal who I am to invite.

Tracey Renfro said...

Why would you assume single people are sad during holiday season, not everyone wants a spouse and children but that doesn't make them sad. Why would I as a single and child free person be any less happy than someone married with children?

Lois said...

Hi Tracey. I noticed that Mandy stated they *can* be sad, not that they *are* sad. I think it's awesome if you are a happy and contented person, and not sad. Blessings to you. :-)

Lois said...

Hey, Mandy. I think that God is really working in your life, and in turn, in ours. This is a lovely plan. I would be game, but we are planning to spend the day with my husband's large family. Very likely, though, there will a few there that do not have other plans...something we often do, and it always blesses us. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tracey Renfro said...

I understand what you are saying but in my little world a single person isn't any more likely to be sad than a married person. I just don't comprehend the connection between being single/married and maybe being sad during holidays. I love the idea of inviting someone who may not have anywhere else to go to share in your family's holiday traditions but kind of astonished that people who choose not to be married are apparently at such risk for being sad and needing the invitation.

Anonymous said...

And there are people who are single yet long to be married and have a family, which could make them feel lonely around the holidays because they don't have a special someone to share them with.

Anonymous said...

I pray the Lord opens my eyes to someone in need this season and every day.

Briana Runde said...

This is wonderful, Mandy! What a heart for Jesus you have! I am going to start praying about this and hope God has someone in mind for this challenge!

ryanandlaura247 said...

I will be praying that God will show me who to invite, as I love this. My husband works Thanksgiving night, but we should be able to do something earlier in the day.

Misty said...

God has been speaking to me about being hospitable for the last couple months, and I have opened my heart to that. I asked Him to lead me to someone to invite to our Thanksgiving table and just tonight a young family, new to our church popped into my head. About an hour ago I talked it over with my husband, and we're going to invite them tomorrow! And then I saw this post. First time to your site. Confirmation.

Beatriz Magana said...

This past year has been a trying year for us. My 14 (at the time) year old daughter underwent brain surgery and through that horrible time we experienced God's peace and joy...yes, joy that went beyond our comprehension. She is now recovering well and almost back to normal routine. Through this time, our church and community showed us first hand the love of Jesus. We learned so much in this difficult time, that we have decided to give of ourselves this holiday season. We have invited a fellow church goer who we know is struggling in many areas of his life, and we hardly know him. He does not have family here and was depending on the church for a Thanksgiving meal. We want to do the same for Christmas...we want to give our time to other people, we want to minister to them by our actions and show what it is to love each other the way Jesus commands. We are still working on what we will do for Christmas, but we know we don't want to make it about ourselves, but to give our love and time to others who need it. Please pray that we use ourselves in the way that God leads us, and that we may hear Him loud and clear as to what He wants us to do. And thank you for being such a great inspiration to me, Mandy. I love reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

We are inviting local refugees we have been working with through a local ministry. It will be neat to show them a traditional American Thanksgiving!

Kelcie B said...

Its not often I see someone who spells their name the same as I do so I had to say hi :)

Kia Murray said...

I wanted to do this when I first read this post and had no idea who I might invite.
I admit I semi-forgot about this and today I was presented with an opportunity and so I invited this couple to join our boxing day feast (we seem to have our big dinner/get together then instead of Christmas day). It was only after the invite I remembered this post and said a prayer of thanks to God for giving me this opportunity.