Sunday, November 29, 2015

giving thanks?

When did we lose sight of what it really means to be thankful? Why have we made the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas about accumulating stuff, about having the biggest and brightest and best? We seem to have lost sight of what this season is supposed to be--

Thanksgiving has become nothing more than a placeholder on the calendar, almost a joke of a day for most of our country. It is supposed to be the day we remember how blessed we are (and we are blessed beyond measure) and how God has provided for us, but instead it is often used as a planning day for Black Friday shopping. Now, many stores are even starting their sales on Thursday night. They don't even list the day as "Thanksgiving" on their ads.

Then there's the Christmas season. Forget the idea of the secular world's "war on Christmas," because we do a good enough job of that on our own. We stress and fret and overdo everything, searching for the perfect gifts--all the while pushing the true Perfect Gift into the background of our minds. We make this season on of busy-ness instead of one of focus. Isn't it ironic that we spend so much money and do so many elaborate things in the name of celebrating the One who came to earth as a baby in a manger?

This season, I challenge all of us to have an intentional season, one of focus on the true meaning of this time.

"Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,
a child is born, sweet-breathed;
a son is given to us: a living gift.
And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair,
He is great.
The power of leadership, and the weight of authority,
will rest on His shoulders.
His name? His name we'll know in many ways--
He will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Dear Father everlasting,
ever-present never-failing,
Master of Wholeness,
Prince of Peace."
~Isaiah 9:6, The Voice translation