Seconds on Mashed Potatoes


One of the reasons Thanksgiving is such a great holiday is its role as a gospel metaphor.  Year after year, we sit down at sagging tables and eat turkeys that somehow have gone from small egg to large, soporific bird.  We eat breads, fruits, and vegetables that have magically come out of the dirt.  And then we mix flour and fat (think I am the bread of life and the fat belongs to the Lord) and drizzle it over the top of our meal.  Then we eat.

This is the gospel, and this is grace.  Gifts from God's hand, received by God's people.  Unmerited blessings, accepted with gratitude.  We were broken, now we are healed.  We were condemned, now we are forgiven.  We were empty, now we are filled.

But this grace/thanksgiving/gospel has two sides.  A gift is given . . . but that gift must also be received.  Jesus said, "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (true), but for some of us, it can be harder to receive than to give.  Yet this is exactly what God calls us to.  Acceptance.  Gratitude.  Guiltless consumption.  God gives to us lavishly, and it's our job to grin big and have seconds on mashed potatoes.

Can we tie this in to education?  Of course.  As parents and teachers, let's view education as a gift, and each day of classes as another rich Thanksgiving table.  We're here to serve our children a joyous academic feast, and like mothers who work hard to make their tables beautiful, we want our students to work hard devouring the meals placed on them.  Just like David says: "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Ps. 34:8)

Grace and Peace, Nate Ahern