November 14, 2009
So, Halloween is over...and suddenly, all the stores have their Christmas displays in full array. Trees, lights, wreaths, inflatable snowmen, and so much more abound. I must admit, I have started listening to Christmas music (yes, already) and switched out my "harvest" scented candles for "evergreen" and "mulberry" scents. I am even considering putting out a few Christmas decorations this weekend.
It seems, that in the midst of recovering from the sugar overload of Halloween and preparing for Christmas, we overlook Thanksgiving. I often feel that Thanksgiving is the "warm-up" for Christmas. We get together, eat, watch some football, complain we are full, take a nap, and then eat some more. But what about the true meaning of Thanksgiving? Christians everywhere fight to "keep the 'Christ' in Christmas". We spend time and effort trying to teach our children that Christmas is not all Santa Claus and presents, that we are to be celebrating the birth of our Savior. But how often to we reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving?
Most of us will come together with family and friends and I am sure many prayers of thanks will be said, at least to bless the food, on Thanksgiving day. Children will make turkeys and pilgrim hats out of construction paper, but do we consider our blessings this Thanksgiving season?
Philippians 4:6 says "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." What a beautiful promise. Perhaps, the Pilgrims were thinking of this very scripture hundreds of years ago when they first gathered together with the Indians to celebrate. They had plenty to be anxious about...a new land, disease, a cold winter ahead, and much more. They had sacrificed much to be able to worship in a manner they felt would please God. And yet, in this anxious and terrifying time, they took a moment to thank God for His blessings.
So here we sit this holiday season, worried about money, gifts, time off from work, health, and so on, and we seem to forget this promise of God. The promise of answered prayer. The promise of peace. The next verse in Philippians (4:7) goes on to say "and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." What a wonderful gift! Anything you want or need, just go to God (with thanksgiving) and He will give you peace.
So this Thanksgiving season I pray that each of you will take the time to "make your requests be known unto God" and thank Him, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day, for the many blessings he bestows on us.
God bless and Happy Thanksgiving!