Thanksgiving Unto Glory To God
This season in our country between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, generally referred to as “the Holidays,” carries with it some profound implications for those of us who name the name of Christ and trust in Him for life.
During Thanksgiving weekend we have the opportunity to take a break from our daily work to spend time with family and friends and particularly to reflect on the first Thanksgiving and the meaning it still holds for us today as a means of remembering that God is the source of our bounty, that He is the one who preserves us for His pleasure, that HE alone is responsible for whatever measure of blessings we enjoy as a nation. So we thank Him first and foremost.
The next event is not so popularly observed except among Christians, especially those who observed the orthodox traditions of the Church at large across many denominations. It is important to note that Advent as a feat time is not mentioned in the Bible in the same way as Passover (Easter) Pentecost, or Christmas, but it is no less important in the telling of the story of the life of Jesus.
Advent (the coming of Christ) occurs during the four weeks 29 days leading up to Christmas Day. It is a time of preparation for the expectation of the birth of Christ. The prophet John called for the people to prepare the way of (for) the Lord. In other words prepare for the advent, the coming appearance of Jesus the Messiah to dwell with and ultimately in the hearts of every believer.
The time of preparation in Advent is for the world to hear the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to receive Him as the only Lord and Savior of mankind. It is a time when the lost, the poor, the outcast, the sick, the dying, the widow, the orphan, the wounded and weary, the forgotten and the lonely can hear the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in it find meaning and purpose for their lives and be welcomed into the company of the beloved in Christ; to be healed and to be made whole.
For us who are believers it is intended to be a time to reset our hearts and minds, to turn from the idleness of sin and the things we know in our hearts that are displeasing to God our Father. It is a time to think on things eternal and life giving, a time to draw nearer to God by drawing nearer to His Word, a time when we reflect on our lives in relationship to the pattern of life we are given to lead in this world in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit in us.
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps…” 1 Peter 2:21
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
“These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:17
While the Thanksgiving holiday provides an opportunity for us to give thanks to God. Advent marks the season in which God prepared His greatest gift to give to us. We then, likewise are summoned to follow His example in giving to others from the greatest gifts we have to offer.
Advent is the greater season of ThanksGIVING wherein we are obliged to show God’s Love by giving freely and joyfully of what we have been given that we might be imitators of our Father, God.
Please, take a moment to consider the full message in this passage.
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 4:17-5:2
Advent is an ideal time to join with the whole Church, worldwide in proclaiming the true joy of the Christmas Season, the joy of becoming a child of the living God. And it is an ideal time to make your surroundings, your house and your heart ready for celebrating the true Joy in Christ with friends, family and strangers.
Don’t let the enemy rob you of the joy of celebrating God, our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and this is particularly important if you live alone, if you are single or widowed without close or extended family to fellowship with.
You can still make your house as fair as you are able. Prepare for Jesus to come to your house and spend time with you in close fellowship, in love and affection. He can manifest Himself in many different ways and people.
Be on the lookout, therefore, for those He will send to share the time and the season with you. Some may be those you go out to serve, others maybe those who come to serve you. In either case do all that you can do as though you are doing it unto Christ.
Advent says, prepare to be blessed by being a blessing and be always anticipating the appearance (The Advent) of the Lord at any time.