Sandwiched between the world’s weird Fright Fest and ”the most wonderful time of the year" is a day that many people have forgotten. They still celebrate it, but the meaning has been forgotten in way too many families. Retail sales roll from their 7 billion dollar increase at Halloween into the expected 48% of their yearly sales at Christmas and so really, Thanksgiving just gets in the way. If you are lucky, you might be able to find a package of napkins or a cardboard turkey centerpiece that somehow acknowledges Thanksgiving, but in most regards it is the forgotten day. This day has not only been forgotten for what it truly is, but it has been relegated to 4 other activities:
4.Sadly, the start of Christmas shopping
I think I could find scriptures that could loosely condemn all four of those activities, but I am not against them as much as I am about us getting Thanksgiving back to what it needs to be.
1 Thess. 5:18 "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
So what can we do as Christians to acknowledge and celebrate this glorious day as it should be? Here are four ways to counteract the forgetfulness.
1. Inventory God’s blessings in our lives:
If we take the time, we will see that we are overwhelmed by all that God has truly given to us. Material things do not equal blessings. There are blessings all around us that we have never purchased and cannot put a price tag on.
2. Consider the invaluable:
As you find yourself around the table this Thanksgiving, truly look into the faces of your family and friends and realize their worth to you. We spend so much time dressing up our bodies, renovating our homes, and accessorizing our cars, but your spouse and your children are worth more than all of those. We need to get gratitude right because if we are discontent we pass that on to our kids and to those who need to see Jesus through us. Our happiness and our peace have nothing to do with what this world has to offer. Our happiness and our peace must be anchored in Jesus Christ. He does not have good days and bad days. He is Jesus Christ and He is always the same.
3. Do something for someone else:
By doing something for someone else, it gets our minds off of what we think that we are missing.
Opportunities for volunteering and doing for others are all around us. You can find something to do for so many people and in the midst of it you just may realize how blessed you are.
4. Practice thanksgiving throughout the year:
Not only should we pray with thanksgiving and enter the house of God with thanksgiving, but we should live our lives with thanksgiving. Thanks ought to become part of our everyday language. The discipline of gratitude brings natural wealth by freeing us from the snare of comparison living and the trap of unrealistic expectations. It is impossible to be truly grateful for what God has given to us and discontent at the same time.
As children we were born with a propensity toward greed, envy, and numerous other vices that can bring us into a state of discontent. We need to understand as we grow and develop as adults and especially as Christian adults that there are numerous reasons that we should live our lives giving thanks.
Don’t let Thanksgiving become a forgotten day, but be filled with Thanks!