The Revealing’s of Thanksgiving…
Happy Thanksgiving! Were you able to have an enjoyable and memorable Thanksgiving with family, loved, and friends last week? Are you one those persons that enjoys eating leftover turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, macaroni-n-cheese, and yummy desserts for days after Thanksgiving? I know I am; and I am still eating and munching on leftovers…turkey sandwiches, ham sandwiches, warmed up macaroni-n-cheese with a side of mashed potatoes topped with gravy, and few slices of pumpkin pie for dessert. Aside from the the gatherings and food, what did you give God thanks for on Thanksgiving? What were you thankful? Did you pray Psalm 100 before you went to bed?
As I sit in my chair in the office reflecting on this past Thanksgiving, I find myself asking, “What’s next?” For the first time in a while, we have an extra Sunday before we start decorating the church for Christmas and prepare for the Advent season. So, we have an extra Sunday to ponder what Thanksgiving means to us; and so that is what I am doing today, “Thinking about Thanksgiving and what it reveals to us.” Would it be okay to share with you what I am thinking?
First, Thanksgiving reveals that God has set you free. God has set you free to accept Jesus into your heart, to others how Jesus loves them, and to try to follow Jesus’ example. However, at times, you may not do the right thing or say the right thing and forget that Jesus lives in your heart. But, remember God has set you free to live out the plan that He has given you. So give thanks knowing that God has revealed God’s self to you through the blessings in your life and these blessings have set you free from all the bad things in your life.
Second, Thanksgiving at times is a choice but it should be the natural outflow of seeing truth. What would your life look like if you allowed it to be wrapped in Christ’s love and you always sought to tell the truth? It’s hard to tell the truth all the time, especially when you know that telling the truth gets you an extra cookie after supper. You may say you cleaned your room when you really didn’t, or you may have said you ate all your supper when you gave most of it to the dot. From this truth, we must want to tell the truth like we want to give God thanks and praise. Thanksgiving reveals our want and desire to give thanks in all circumstances because God is present in our life: getting us through battles, struggles, and temptations. Choose to give thanks because God gives thanks for you being part of His creation.
Third, Thanksgiving reveals a life of leaping. Rejoice in the Lord! I don’t know about you but when I say the word rejoice, I want to leap—I want to leap for joy. The joy that is down in my heart (where?), down in my heart, wants to leap out of me and be shared with others. We have to think of our joy like a cheerio in a bowl of milk. No matter how hard you try to sink a cheerio, it doesn’t sink. No matter how hard people try to sink your joy, remember that with Christ in your heart, your joy is unsinkable. So leap for joy! And give thanks to God in all circumstances, even when life isn’t fair and things are against you, because His steadfast love endures forever. Give God thanks. Thanksgiving reveals our want to live a life of joy surrounded by God’s blessings, Christ’s grace, and the Holy Spirit’s peace. Leap for joy because that’s what God does every time you lean on Him and you say, “God I need you.”
So, for me this extra Sunday has allowed me to spend more time thinking about Thanksgiving and realizing that Thanksgiving reveals three things in my life. First, it reveals that God has set me free from all the bad stuff and to accept Jesus into my heart. Second, it reveals that we are to truthfully give thanks to God who gets us through our battles and struggles. And third, it reveals that we are to give God thanks with the joy that lives in our heart. Thanksgiving is not just about food and gatherings and about having no school, it is about giving thanks to God for what God is doing in our life today and tomorrow. What does Thanksgiving reveal to you?
I will “see” you all next week as we begin the Advent Season and waiting for Jesus to be born!
Your Friend, Holy Spirit!
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