It’s a day for being thankful.
A day for fellowship. For food. Football. To give thanks. To reflect. And of course, it’s a day for family… And that’s why I love it. The one thing that strikes me each year is that without exception, everything wonderful about Thanksgiving starts with an open door.
We don’t ask anyone to change what they’re wearing, what they look like, how they vote, what they do for a living, if they worship, or who they are before they walk in our home on this day. We don’t ask for credentials. No payment is exchanged and no IDs are required. Our guests are wanted. Expected. Celebrated! We scoot extra chairs up to the table, print the place cards, and lay out the Welcome mat with anticipation. In fact, we’ve probably been preparing for them all week. The harvest is ready. A banquet is spread. It’s been chopped, basted, and baked all day — and now? It’s time to share.
When I became a Christian, no one told me I had to look a certain way in order to come to Jesus. This teenager didn’t have to go to the right college, own a flashy car, wear a certain jeans size or prove my worth to be let into this club. In fact, it wasn’t a club at all. It wasn’t exclusive and it didn’t cost me a thing. I just stood on the porch and knocked. I stood as I was, blemished and sin-logged. Craving authentic love. Curious about this man who died for me. Wanting to know more but not having a clue where to start. And as if expected, He opened the door and welcomed me into the family. I was brought in and presented as a sister, a daughter — a cherished creation of the Most High. I didn’t have to be perfect under this roof. He’d take on the responsibility of a relationship with me, dirty hands and all. He’d welcome me in, no questions asked. He’d love me as-is.
After you read this, I’d like for you to close your eyes for a moment. Picture a door. Maybe it’s large and rounded at the top like the photo in this post. Maybe it’s crafted of beautiful polished wood, the centerpiece of a glorious and welcoming front porch. See the knocker? Reach out. Grab it. Take hold and feel the cool metal as you wrap the warmth of your hand around it.
Now knock. Once. Twice. Three times, maybe.
Let them know you’ve arrived. And then listen. Hear the laughter inside? They’re waiting for you. Your family. Notice the sound of footsteps in the foyer? He’s almost there. You know who’s coming for you. Maybe you’ve been struggling. Battling doubts. Feeling hopeless. Lonely. Faithless, even. Warring with the demands of “happy” each day? Living life, giving Him a nod at funerals or Easter and not thinking about religion because, well, it’s just too messy. It’s so far off in the future, that we don’t need to think about Jesus until we’re old and gray. Maybe we’ve been existing for things and pleasures and latching onto wants… But those things aren’t going to offer comfort on this day. “Things” will never open a door.
But He will.
And he does. Picture Him: laughing eyes. A genuine smile. Maybe a nod of the head because He expected you, and is so happy that you finally made it. He steps outside to welcome you home. You share an embrace with nail-pierced hands hugging your shoulders. You stand together out on that Welcome mat.
He doesn’t ask anything of you. Not to change. Not now. Not before you’re welcomed in. (The fellowship and growth and maturing… they come later.) In this glorious moment, it’s all about the open door and the Savior who pulled it wide.
Thanksgiving is just a day. It’s just one door in many that will be presented to us in this life. But I pray for myself as much as for all of you, that the blessing of knowing Him, of finding Him standing at the door — that it’s something we’ll find encouragement in on this holiday weekend. The door is ready to be thrown wide… and all we have to do is show up.
May an abundance of blessings find their way to your door on this Thanksgiving weekend, and every day beyond.
With JOY from our family to yours,