Feasting has its place in our lives. Few of us are called to unrelenting austerity, and God’s bounty is certainly worth celebrating. We don’t want to recommend that joyous banqueting be removed from our lives, but that we look at it in a different way. At Thanksgiving, we tend to make a ritual of feeding ourselves and our friends to the point of gluttony, and we only remember the world’s hungry in an abstract way. New traditions at this time could serve not only to remind us of our heritage and abundance, but also provide direct action to help those who do not have the advantages we have.
First United Methodist Church in Rule, Texas, lived out a parable. Several weeks before Thanksgiving, their pastor gave each person a certain amount of money – five dollars to one, two dollars to another, etc. She asked them to serve as stewards and see what they could do with that money for the church. The report on Thanksgiving Day was of many projects to help people, to raise money for the church, and to enhance church life; and the congregation learned a new dimension to stewardship.