Every Seat at the Table

As I write this installment of Noble Notes, it’s 7AM on Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving. As this very moment, my oldest son should be leaving The United States Military Academy at West Point to come home for Thanksgiving. Last night, there was an empty seat at our table. Tonight, we pray, he will be in his seat. We’re looking forward to seeing him!

This got me thinking of other similar scenarios:

  • A buddy from California is coming home with him. So, we’ll set an extra place for a friend. Stacy was able to talk to his mom last week. Their family will still have an empty seat.
  • A friend in ministry called yesterday and shared that a young man in his family had run away from home. Without a change of heart, his seat at the table will be empty tomorrow. (read an update to this story below…)
  • Our family will travel to my parents’ house this evening to gather with my sisters and their families. Lord willing, every member of our family will be there. I know mom and dad are excited. Every seat will be filled, and then some as aunts, uncles and cousins join our happy feast.

This is our first year as a family without all our children living at home, so we’re learning new things about family, about the privilege of praying for a son who is living elsewhere and about the joy of welcoming him home to join us at the table.

Family is important, and for many of us, family comes in many different forms. Your blood family is probably quite special. Many of us also have some sort of adopted family with whom we feel just as close or even closer to. And, I hope you have a church family with whom you share the joys of brotherhood and sisterhood in faith. As we celebrate Thanksgiving and move toward Christmas, I want to encourage you to make sure you express special thanks for your family, whatever shape or size it is, and wherever you happen to be located. I hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving and that every seat at your table is filled this year whether with your blood, adopted, or church family. 


*Update: The young man who chose to leave his family has since chosen to come home. He reached out to his parents who set some guidelines for him for if he chose to return. They have now reconciled and he has returned home. I am sure his family is grateful that his seat will also be filled for Thanksgiving.