Expecting guests

We’re expecting guests for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow noon–sixty-five guests, to be exact.

The Life Groups delivered bags of food to several families from our community who were in need–and followed up with an invitation to dinner tomorrow at church. Eleven families have confirmed that they will be there–about 65 people.

Pastor Jason sent out the word so everyone could prepare. The women were urged to bring extra food; Pastor Jeremy went into overdrive trying to find enough workers to handle the 40 extra children that we expect in children’s church.

I hadn’t signed up to bring anything–but I’d planned on doing it anyway. This news means I amped up my preparations. A 9×13″ fruited jello salad sits in my refrigerator. Five pounds of potatoes are sliced and in the crockpot on low overnight for mashed potatoes. And three pounds of onions are in another crockpot on low overnight–caramelized onions to (hopefully) cover the taste of the (in my opinion, awful) turkey the church is buying.

I accidentally sliced one of my fingernails in my preparations, and now my hands reek of onions. But I can’t help but be excited. We’ve got houseguests coming tomorrow and everything must be ready.

A thousand thoughts start to dance through my head. Is the nursery prepared? Has Debbie thought of it? Did Tracy find someone else to help me cut desserts? Joanna’s scheduled for the nursery. Is her helper reliable? What if they come for Sunday School? Is John prepared for extra kids? He just started teaching the kid’s Sunday School–I hope everything will work out fine. Just a minute, am I scheduled to be in the nursery during Sunday School? I don’t know, I don’t remember, we’ve had so many re-schedules this month. Tracy said she knew for sure that I wasn’t in the nursery for the service. So that at least is good. But what about…

My thoughts run on and on. I want us to make a good impression. I want them to be welcome. I want for us to show them love. I want for there to be plenty of food. I want for their children to be excited. I want for the parents to feel relaxed. I want them to be blessed.

Houseguests, strangers, walking through our doors. We offer them food because we want them to have life. I want them to taste and see that the Lord is good–and come back for another bite.

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