photo courtesy IndyDina - flickr.com
As the days tick by and the holidays approach I am reminded of the need to be grateful. Not just be grateful, but to express that gratitude in action. This year has been tough economically for many, me included. However, I still have daily food and shelter. Not everyone can say that.
Helping those in need, especially those who are hungry, is one of the things Jesus followers are supposed to do. Matthew’s Gospel makes it pretty clear in Jesus’ story of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25: 31-46). Key in on verses 35 and 36 (New International Version):
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Over the next week or so many of those in need of a good meal can find one. Many Thanksgiving meals are being offered. Why the emphasis on feeding over Thanksgiving? Aren’t there hungry people year round? Yes, indeed. And many of the very same churches and organizations offering free Thanksgiving meals help out the rest of the year, too. It’s just not as apparent.
Thanksgiving is a time when many of us gather with family and enjoy a nice, big meal. For those who are struggling to find their “daily bread” imagine how despondent they can become when they hear about Thanksgiving and they don’t have the means to put the bounty on the table. When the hungry are fed on Thanksgiving they get a good meal and also some soul food. A little kindness and compassion go a long way.
The added benefit of many meals being served to those who most need them over Thanksgiving week is that we can be helpers. We can be the "hands of Jesus", volunteering our time by cooking, serving and cleaning up.
Below are many of the upcoming free Thanksgiving meals that will be served. Thanks to Ann Edenfield Sweet of Wings Ministry for the information (her non-profit ministers to families of the incarcerated). Contact any of the hosts – they’d be glad to accept your offer to help. And you will be fed, as well – fed with the nourishment to your heart and soul that comes from doing something good for others.
Saturday, Nov. 21, 10:30 am to 3:00 pm -- Chava Trucking Company Thanksgiving Dinner, 409 Clark Road SW (2-1/2 miles south of Rio Bravo on 2nd Street -google map). Shuttle service will be provided, beginning at 10:30 am, at St. Martin’s, Good Shepherd, Alb. Rescue Mission, Project Share, Noon Day, Salvation Army Temple (on Broadway & Lead), and Joy Junction.
Saturday, Nov. 21, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm -- Thanksgiving meal at Restoration Ministries, (505) 281-8992, 824 San Mateo SE (south of Zuni, between Southern & Trumble, parking lot & entrance to building on Ortiz).
Tuesday, Nov. 24, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm – Alb. Rescue Mission’s Thanksgiving meal (no breakfast or dinner at Alb. Rescue Mission on that day). Located on the northwest corner of 2nd and Iron, 525 2nd Street SW, (505) 346-4673.
Also, Noon Day is only open 9:00 - 11:00 -- no lunch meal or afternoon services on Tuesday.
Wednesday, November 25 -- 11:00 am to 2:00 pm – Joy Junction’s Thanksgiving meal at the Convention Center downtown (get free tickets at various shelters).
11:00 am to 2:00 pm – Thanksgiving dinner at the Albuquerque Indian Center, 105 Texas SE. (505) 268-4418.
Thursday, Thanksgiving Day (November 26) -- 8:30 to 9:30 am -- brunch at Good Shepherd, 218 Iron Ave SW, (505) 243-2527 (only meal on that day at Good Shepherd).
10:00 am to 3:00 pm – Thanksgiving meal at La Mesa Presbyterian Church, 7401 Copper NE (north of Central, east of Louisiana).
5:00 to 6:00 pm – regular dinner at Alb. Rescue Mission (no breakfast that day).
4:30 to 6:00 pm – Thanksgiving dinner at Project Share.
There will be a sunrise ceremony (sunrise until 10:00 am) in honor of Native Americans at the Alb. Center for Peace & Justice, on the corner of Harvard & Silver (one block east of Yale, one block south of Central), followed by a Fall Harvest brunch.