Well, I will be the first to say that I am eager for Christmas. Sleigh bells have been jingling through my house. And yet not too loudly. I really want to enjoy Thanksgiving also. But I get frustrated by the lack of festivities and preparation leading up to it. All the trees are decked out in fall finery still, but there are few festive songs sung, and no parties thrown to celebrate Thanksgiving.
If this reflects how quickly I forget to say “thanks” in daily life, then I’m in trouble.
So I propose a Countdown to Thanksgiving! Hmmm…On the First Day Of Thanks…
I found a beautiful passage in Colossians 1: “3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints…”
We are so blessed with a community of people who understand how God’s love works in this crazy world…well, understand to an extent. Thankfulness is woven through Paul’s prayers…perhaps that was the secret to his contentment: a perspective shaped by gratefulness. It is a theme woven throughout his writings.
Actually, thanks is woven in all the way back in the Old Testament sacrificial system. People brought some of their livelihood and gave it back to God. Wave offerings were actually swung through the air! It was a way to show open hands of gratitude for what God had given. They gave thanks for what He had given, and trust that He would provide for the next year.
This is a theme God likes. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9 of monetary church offerings, what we might call a faith-offering to support other churches. He urged everyone to give, but from a cheerful heart. God doesn’t want a big pile of sour grudges. He has enough without our little supply. But He loves to give back to the cheerful heart.
So often in my life, those who have the least amount seem to be the quickest to share what they do have. I need to learn from them.
Thankfulness is a dangerous perspective. It kills greed, introduces humility, and provides cheer. This is a trend I want to catch. So, thank You, God, for other believers and the ability to share life with them in everyday interactions and worship. Please help me catch this bug, become aware of what I have been given, and enjoy sharing that with those around me. This is only the first day, and I already have a big grin on my face. Thank You! Amen.