Thanksgiving and Hospitality

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien

Food is an incredible gift. The pilgrims thought so too when the Wampanoag Indians came to celebrate that first Thanksgiving after a hard 1621, bringing a variety of local foods from around Plymouth. While cooking is enjoyable and fun, hospitality runs far deeper by setting the tone for relationships and environment.

Food is a cornerstone of the concept of hospitality – it livens our spirits and opens the door for conversation and fellowship. Food is a universal language that everyone speaks. The idea of good food alone can activate our salivary glands. When you add in the other senses, it can recapture our attention. As you cook and prepare over the next day or so, keep in mind the power of food over you – when you crack the oven to temp the roasting turkey, set the Dutch apple pie on the cooling rack, and pour another rich Pino Noir.

There is a depth to culinary that I really enjoy. The pairings of complementary flavors and diverse ingredients enrich the experience and tantalize the taste buds. While food in itself is a topic you can drown in, what interests me more is the end for culinary and hospitality – which is to bring people together. This is the whole point of it all. It fits in so many settings like family, business, ministry, and various levels of leadership. It’s a mindset that is different from where society finds itself today with transactional quick-serves and unconnected social responses.

What hospitality contributes to is the slowing of our life to notice those across from you. It’s an openness to give and receive generously of time and attention. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to reconnect with this. It’s a day that isn’t caught up in anything other than presenting thanks for what we have and sharing a meal. The natives and pilgrims were worlds apart in culture but the common ground they found was over hospitality and generosity. Jesus, Himself broke bread with so many as an example to us, not for the sake of ingesting but of so much more.

How are you creating the opportunity in your sphere for relationships to develop through the lens of hospitality? How can you become more hospitable to the people you lead and serve? Do you make time to share this in your own home?

Lastly, I want to hear from you – what are you making this year for the Thanksgiving table? Or what is your favorite dish? I’m especially excited to be roasting sliced Brussels sprouts with a little sea salt, thyme, and olive oil.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for all of you. Cheers to a great meal!

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb providing insights, reflections, and updates to help the faithfully productive dream, do, and be righteous. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco. Stay righteous!


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