“The LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples.” — Isaiah 25:6

Mike Gentry’s store in Blue Springs, Miss., is a family-owned-and-operated store/gas station/restaurant/info center/meeting place. Mike’s mom (“Miss Callie Mae”) and dad opened the original store in nearby Sherman back in 1962. Not too many years ago, Dad was injured in a robbery attempt and was hospitalized for months. He later required total care at home before finally dying.

The community came to the family’s aid in manyways: visits, meals, love, concern, prayers. The family sought a way to say thank you, and a few years ago, just before Thanksgiving, they succeeded. They prepared a large, free meal for everyone in the community.

This month, they’ll do it again, just as they’ve done every year since that first gathering. Over the years, my family has sat at tables with people we’ve never met; we always leave the meal having made wonderful, new friendships. We make a connection.

Les Parrott's Making Happy
Get more — Free! e-booklet — Les Parrott's Making Happy

I guess heaven will be a bit like that — a huge banquet prepared for us, meeting people we’ve heard about but haven’t yet met. Wouldn’t it be nice if the body of Christ here on Earth was a little more like that? No barriers, taking a place at whatever table has an open slot, knowing we’re welcome and not minding who sits at “our” table?

As Thanksgiving approaches, why not look at your church and community in a new way? Ask yourself if there is something you can do to build that sense of connectedness, of family. Then do it. Maybe you’ll be the one cooking dinner to say thank you.


Used With Permission. This article first appeared in the November/December 2000 issue of Focus on the Family Physician magazine.