The Richness of Thanksgiving Continues
We transition today from the richness of the feast of the Thanksgiving holiday to the onset of Advent and richness of the festivities of Christmas. Too often we separate these two events, skating quickly through the one so we can ”get onto the good stuff” of the other. In the mist of this we sometimes lose the true richness of it all. The message of Christ is teeming with riches of unbelievable proportions that should gleam in great brightness through our gratitude and thanksgiving.
A love filled with such great richness from our creator that He chose to seek us out, giving us a way to redeem ourselves so that we may be with Him once again. There is no greater thing than to experience the overwhelming richness of being cherished by someone.Â
She stood at the sink washing dishes as the sounds of the house faded in the background. The children playing with pitches of discontent echoing through the halls as the television blared in the background, together in the home but yet separate and segregated from one another; the richness of love seemed nonexistent. Â Her hands steeped in the warmth of the water as she stared out into approaching darkness catching a slight reflection of herself in the window. She picked up a coffee cup and stopped. Asking herself, ”How many times have I washed this cup?” And then she thought, ”Is this all life is?” She put the cup down, walked to her bedroom, packed a small suitcase, and walked out the door. She left her husband and children driving off into the night.
She drove as the darkness gathered and the hour grew later, finally arriving some 200 miles away. She found a cheap hotel and stopped for the night calling her husband as she felt she owed him that. She told him that she was fine physically but just couldn’t face her life as it was anymore and she wasn’t coming home. In that call and all calls afterwards, her husband assured her that he loved her and wanted her to come back home. She declined each time but yet she stayed in touch. Worry, fear, and no purpose gripped her very existence.
Her husband eventually found her through hiring a private investigator. He knocked on the door of his wife’s room and she slowly opened it and stared at him in silence before falling into his arms sobbing.
Days later he asked, ”I am so glad you’re home and I pray you never leave again. But I’ve wondered; when I called you, I invited you back. I told you I loved you, but you wouldn’t come back. What changed your mind?”
She said, ”When you called, I heard words. When you showed up, I knew how much you love me. You sought me out, you came for me.” (Klaus, 2015: adapted)
The richness of love and being sought out is comparable to nothing and in the story of our Savior, incomprehensible. The salvation offered by Christ is beyond all imaginations of wealth and that alone should fill us with overflowing joy and continuous thanksgiving. Christ’s love that surpasses all knowledge fills us with the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19) Attempting to separate the grand celebration of Thanksgiving from the coming season and anticipation of Christ, dispels the meaning of both because they must go hand in hand.
Thankful people can worship with full hearts for it is the gratitude we have that opens our hearts to the embracing richness of Christ’s love that leads to the fullness of thanksgiving. As we look to this week’s focus verse along with the Advent and Christmastide let us remember that the message of Christ is too full of richness to keep it to ourselves and it is too much to not be in awe of God for offering it. We should be in thanksgiving each and every day but especially as we begin to celebrate the good news of the Christ Child.
God’s message of Christ should fill out lives continuously where thanksgiving and praise become a constant reaction. A separated celebration season is not necessary as our Thanksgiving praises continue to be sung throughout the Advent, Christmastide, and beyond.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. Colossians 3:16 (NLT)
Thankful Hearts are full of the Richness of Hope
Comprehending the richness of the message of Christ should create an overflowing of thanksgiving within you as you develop a continuous gratitude to God that you share consistently with others. An attitude of gratitude develops and replaces a life with one filled with hope and satisfaction. The richness of hope that comes with this message of love keeps you moving forward to the goal of fulfilling your purpose with God. The Advent season is all about hope, a hope that God knows is necessary for your life, a hope of fulfillment, a hope that is still yet to come. Hope holds the richness of power to change and turn lives around.
Researchers conductedÂ an interesting experiment, years ago to see the effect that hope has on those undergoing hardship. Placed in separate tubs of water were two sets of laboratory rats.Â The researchers placed one set of rats in the water and upon their return they found that within the hour all of the rats had drowned. The other set of rats, also placed in the water, were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. The second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. These rats didn’t survive because they had a meaningless rest but because they were given hope. The animals somehow hoped that if they stayed afloat someone would reach down and rescue them. Imagine that if hope holds this richness of power over rats how much greater hope effects people.Â (Moody Global Ministries, 1990)
So how do you develop a richness of hope that leads to the richness of Christ reflecting a consistent and constant thanksgiving? There are four things that you can do to help jump-start your season of festivities into a richness of season that lasts the whole year.
Purposefully develop a change in your attitude or mood shifting into the positive aspects of life. Focus on the simple things in life.
Record an inventory of what you already have. ”Count your blessings” name them one by one in a journal and then record your daily blessings.
Give the hope to others as you share your thanksgiving. Share the message of Christ along with your daily blessings as you provide service to others.
Embrace your experiences and reflect back to the richness of what God is providing. This is a necessary action of active thanksgiving
The richness of Christ is graciously provided every day. It is important that you take stock of your life and appreciate it as you open your heart to God’s peace and receive the richness of the love gifted to you. Be so convicted with thanksgiving in the richness of the life provided to you by God to give love to others in return with a motivation to share the Christ child and the Christ that saves us all. Your life overflowsÂ with hope of good things to come as the news of Christ is indeed beyond the greatest riches you will ever know.Celebrate with great thanksgiving the richness of the Advent season with the hope that is abundantly answered. Click To Tweet
Love in Christ,
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy
Credits Klaus, K. (2015, November 28). Jesus Conquers. St. Louis, MO, USA.Â Moody Global Ministries. (1990, May). Today in the Word, p. 34.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Do you continue your thanksgiving into Christmas? Is the Advent season of the richness of hope seen in your daily gratitude? Join us in candid discussion of the richness of the season in the grand celebration of the Christ child.