Avoid Politics at Thanksgiving Dinner. Talk Religion!

Tony Phillips's picture

Avoid politics at Thanksgiving Dinner. Talk Religion. Ok, well, not really. But we should be prepared to share our witness at any time. That’s what I learned a few days ago. Last weekend I went on a hunting trip with my father, brothers, uncles, and cousins. And even in a family where everyone was raised catholic, I’m often seen as the “Catholic guy.” I’m guessing that many of you can relate.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when my uncle turned to me during breakfast and said, “Was there a moment where something clicked for you in regard to the whole religion thing?” (That’s a direct quote, btw.) Suddenly I was transported from relaxation mode at the duck club back to evangelization mode at the office. I realized I was not really prepared to share my story at this moment; after all, I had just gutted a duck carcass with my bare hands. I also realized that this might literally be the only chance in my entire life I have the opportunity to share the Gospel with these men. So I took a breath, said a prayer, and told my story. Thankfully, it was a story I’d told many times, and while I wasn’t emotionally prepared, I did know what to say. I have no idea what, if any, impact this moment will have on my uncles and cousins, but the Lord works in big and small ways, so I’m happy that I at least could answer the call in that moment.

On my way home I realized that this could happen to me again on Thanksgiving, and if it could happen to me it could happen to any of us who make the claim of following Christ. So I thought I’d take a moment to remind everyone that we never know when we will be called upon to share God’s story of grace and mercy, and that we need to be prepared at all times. This is especially true on Thursday, when we will sit down for a meal and everyone will be trying so hard to not talk about politics that they may accidentally break the other cardinal rule of holiday meals and bring up the “R word.”

So here are some tips. 1. Know your story and be ready to share it. We should all have in our back pocket at all times a 3-minute version of why we believe in and follow Jesus. (If you need some help formulating one check out this link.) 2. Pray. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always switched on to evangelization mode. So if you get surprised like I did, take a second, say a quick prayer calling on the Holy Spirit, get your mind right, and then 3. Go for it! Don’t back down from an opportunity to share your story. It may be the only opportunity some people have to hear the Gospel in a personal and dynamic way.