Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksmas


“Christmas needs to be farther away from Thanksgiving.”  Have you ever heard that?  Maybe, like me, in a moment of frustration, you’re guilty of uttering those words yourself.   As I was lamenting, ok whining, about this very thing recently, God took me in another direction and showed me a different perspective to this situation that, up to this point, I had not considered. 

I know that Thanksgiving gets practically swallowed up in Christmas. Often there is Christmas music and lights and people are talking Christmas before Thanksgiving arrives.  If you turn the TV on, you are inundated with Christmas commercials telling you everything you or someone you know needs or wants for Christmas eons, it seems, before Thanksgiving Day. It seems that no one pays attention to, or cares about Thanksgiving.  We even start Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving Day, in fact sometimes the food has not even digested and the family is still gathered around the table as we run out the door to hit the retail stores.

It seems that Thanksgiving gets trampled in the hurry to get to Christmas.  As I was thinking about what a travesty that Thanksgiving gets ignored God showed me that Thanksgiving placed right before Christmas is perfect.  That’s right, I said PERFECT.

It is perfectly placed because we cannot truly appreciate the Christmas season until we have an attitude of thankfulness for all that God has given us.  Thanksgiving, in a way, can usher in an outlook of gratefulness not just for what we have but for the one who gives us everything.  Thanksgiving is a time of reflection on everything God has provided.

A thankful, content heart is key.  Thankful hearts don’t need to stress about one more party, gift, dinner, or decoration.  Thankful hearts can say like Paul, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

True thankfulness has at its core generosity.   The more thankful we are, the more generous we become.  Christmas is a time of generosity because God lavished his love on us when he sent his son as a light into this dark world.  The baby born on Christmas Day was God, the father being extravagant to us. We cannot be truly thankful, and content until we unwrap the gift given over 2000 years ago.  Christmas is bound to be a letdown if you have never set apart Christ as Lord of your life.  If you have never accepted the gift of God, now’s the perfect time to open the first Gift of Christmas.  God’s gift of love to you.

Lets begin Christmas by being thankful for all that we have already, and for a time to celebrate God; Thankful for what we will accomplish this season and thankful that the gift of Christ transcends any other gift we could ever want or need.