Yes, I know it is actually Halloween or Reformation Day, or All Saints Eve, but I’m just going to hijack it, snatch Thanksgiving right back from the pile of jumbled holiday decorations cluttering the place up, plastic pumpkins all tossed among the gnomes and Santa Clauses.
“Christmas creep” and “let’s just do Halloween all year” have sure been gaining a lot of ground as of late! I think it just about hit us in August this year. It was just getting warm enough for me to take off my second sweater and out came the pumpkin spice jack-o-lanterns.
So let me just fight for the underdog here, buck the trend, and put in a good word for our forgotten holiday. Thanksgiving matters. In fact, it matters so much it should be celebrated all year, a daily event even. The Bible says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
I hope I don’t sound like a Christian scold or something because that is not my intention at all. The Bible says, be anxious for nothing, and we are just an anxiety ridden bunch living through some very stressful times! That verse says to me, be empowered by the fact that you can make your petitions known to God, and then rejoice and be filled with thanksgiving, so you can walk encased with His peace and provision.
These things are good for us, they have a payoff, they are directly related to our own well being. God doesn’t really “need” our thanksgiving, we need our thanksgiving. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude brings joy, it helps you to place your eyes on what you do have rather then on what you don’t have. It teaches you how to be filled with kingdom abundance, rather then the world’s scarcity. God is just raining blessings down on a lost and broken world and half the time we don’t even notice because we aren’t even looking.
He is just raining blessings down on us as individuals, too, but we have to be able to see them to receive them. So anxiety, fear, doubt, distrust, bitterness, envy, all those things tend to distract us from thanksgiving and gratitude and we don’t get to fully experience and feel all our blessings and joys.
Thanksgiving is also free, or almost free. Many of us like to have a turkey and throw a party, but I mean “free” in the sense that gratitude is free, spending time with friends and family is free, giving thanks to the Lord for what you have been given is free. And of course, that is why is it not a good marketing tool, not so good for consumerism. There’s nothing really to buy. There has also been a huge cultural push to make Thanksgiving just go away. That’s no accident, but because that is a real enough thing, we need to grab ahold of it and hang on a bit tighter.
Make thanksgiving a daily event and just start celebrating your blessings.