I trust that your Thanksgiving was a good time. Some of you have sped by Thanksgiving and spent Friday in the stores. Others may not read this article until they have visited even more stores today.
We are on the fast track toward Christmas. That is true for my family, too. It’s also true for my church. We actually started last Sunday and will have five consecutive Sunday evenings with special Christmas programs of some kind. I will attend more parties for Sunday-school classes and other groups in the church than I should, and I will eat way too much food. And I will enjoy every minute of it.
My wife certainly would agree with this statement. I am just a kid at heart. I enjoy everything about the Christmas season — the lights, the gifts, the music.
But this year, I want to be careful to do two things. First, I just do not want to fly past Thanksgiving. In many ways, it is the most important holiday for the believer. Oh, I know that Easter matters. Without the resurrection, we would have no hope. And Easter could not have taken place without Christmas.
But there is something about giving thanks that matters so very much.
God wants us to be thankful people. He had Paul write these words: “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Do you sometimes wonder what God’s will is for your life? That verse may not give the full answer in every detail, but it is a start. It is God’s will for you to give thanks. I’m going to seek to become a more thankful person.
The second thing I am doing this year is to focus less on the gifts I receive. My wife and I have done some home-improvement projects in the last couple of months. I have a new room that really is mine, and her living room, dining room and kitchen have been updated exactly as she wanted them. So we are not giving gifts to each other. We have what we want.
I still have plans to give gifts to my sons, daughter-in-law and dad. We will have a gift exchange with my sister’s family. But this year, I want to focus more on the gift that God gave me more than 2,000 years ago. Jesus came that I might have life. You would think I would major on that every year. But too often, we get too busy, and Jesus is pushed into the background, even when we are celebrating his birth.
Don’t do that this year. Jesus really is the reason for the season. Celebrate him all December long.