Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2014

Leaving the 'thanks' out of Thanksgiving

By Pastor Dean Elmore, Church of God | Nov 20, 2012

As I sit down to write this article, the first thing that comes to my mind is what should I write about. By the time that this gets into the paper, Thanksgiving Day will have passed and most of us start to think about what is coming up. Of course, this is the day that they call Black Friday; and if my understanding is right, they call it Black Friday because it is the day when people go out in full force to get in on bargains and to start buying gifts for the coming Christmas, and most merchants look at it as a day to have a lot of sales and that their business will come out financially in the black instead of the red.

Thanksgiving Day was and is a day set aside for us to stop and think of all the things that we have to be thankful for and to give thanks to God for them. But as I observed this Thanksgiving Day and the promotions of things leading up to it, it seems like we have almost forgotten it and very little is done to observe it, almost like it has become a thing of the past. Have we lost the ability to be thankful? We saw a lot of promotion for Halloween, and there was a great deal of money spent on costumes and for trick-or-treats, but where was Thanksgiving? Now on Black Friday people rush out at all hours of the day and night for bargains as they get ready to celebrate Christmas. It is a time of immense stress and usually doesn’t bring the peace that God wanted us to have when He sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins that we might have peace with God and with mankind.

In one article on the network news there was a group who took a survey of people and they found out that 45 percent of them would like to forget this time of the year, forget Christmas because of the stress and financial burdens that it brings upon people.

This is definitely not what God wanted it to be. What about us — is this what we want it to be? Is this a man thing instead of a God thing? Is there a possibility that we are putting God and the Lord Jesus Christ out of the picture when it was the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and His coming to bring us back into a right relationship with God that we started celebrating Christmas? We continue to celebrate, but what do we celebrate? Do we celebrate the love of God for us or do we celebrate just to celebrate?

We, here in the USA, have much to be thankful for, even when it seems like the times are rough, and I truly believe that there should be very much thanks given to Him and that Thanksgiving Day should not be a day that we just celebrate and leave the “thanks” out.

Let this Christmas season be a time when we truly celebrate the meaning of Christmas and that we don’t leave Christ out of it, because when we leave Him out, it just becomes party time and we miss the glory and the blessings that God has for us. Remember that God loves you and cares about you each one. That is why He sent His Son that we might have life and have it abundantly. I have found that the love of God in our lives is the greatest thing a human being can experience. Let His blessings be yours in this coming season.

 

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