The Oasis - November 27, 2019

Author: Rev. Dan Hollis
November 27, 2019

November 27, 2019
by Pastor Dan

     In case you really haven’t been paying attention, it’s Thanksgiving time again. A time to gather with friends, family, and community to practice gratitude for the blessings we experience in our lives. And for the record, if you don’t have anyone to celebrate with this year, just open your church directory and you’ll find someone who will take you in, I guarantee it.
     The cliché (for a reason) about Thanksgiving is that as soon as you get a family (whether by blood or chosen) gathered around the Thanksgiving table, it won’t be long before they start arguing and upsetting each other. Whose bright idea was it to have the voting booths open in November?      And if it’s not about politics, it’s about religion, or grades, or lifestyle, or when are you going to find yourself a nice girl and start popping out grandkids before I die, Dan?!
And all that gets in the way of what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about. What gatherings in general are supposed to be about. And it always boils down to different perspectives and the inability to hold  those differences as sacred as your own.
     As I said in a sermon a few weeks ago, when we start to judge someone, things can get messy real quick.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then, each of us will be accountable to God. Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another.  Romans 14:10-13

     So I want to challenge you this week: whenever someone at your Thanksgiving table says something, or does something, or wears something gaudy through a piercing in their nose… don’t attack them or be scared of them or push them away. Try to be more like Jesus. Try to see them for who they really are. Try to love them for who they really are. Because differences can be the spice of life, and when you savor them, I promise you will never get bored.
     Of course, not everyone can be as gentle and compassionate as Jesus (who can?), so when someone else  at your Thanksgiving table starts to be mean and hurtful to somebody because of their  differences, don’t just let it happen  for the sake of keeping things civil. Jesus wasn’t afraid to stand up to injustice, and we shouldn’t be either. But He always did it from a place of love, and that makes all the difference.
In the words of one of my favorite talk shows: “Don’t forget to love each other. And don’t worry… it’s almost Thursday.”

Pastor Dan’s song of the week: “Eat It,” by Weird Al Yankovic

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