I’m already Christmas shopping…in fact, I’m about halfway finished. Some of the shopping is fun (toys for my niece) and some is a challenge (what to get Dad this year). But it makes me a little sad that we seem to skip over this time of year in our hurry to get ready for Christmas. And the church is as guilty as the retail industry.
Don’t get me wrong here—I love Christmas. I love the decorations, not that you could tell at my house—I like other people’s decorations that I don’t have to take down! Ben and I ride around and look at people’s Christmas lights, and I love baking and making candy and other treats for gifts. I even love buying gifts and picking out special things for the people I care about. I'm already thinking about making cookie dough...and it's only November 11!
Unfortunately, it seems like we pass right by Thanksgiving. A brief nod to cooler temperatures and changing leaves, and we're off and running, and fail to appreciate the opportunity to spend some time thinking about what we are grateful for. Thanksgiving for Christians should be more than just a day; it should be an attitude of the spirit that we cultivate. in fact, given the misguided way we celebrate (Pilgrim hats and Indian headdresses, anyone?), perhaps it's time for the church to claim Thanksgiving for itelf, not as a special day or season, but as a spiritual discipline, a means of shaping our souls to more closely resemble Christ.
So I’m grateful for lots of things: for my family and friends, that my father seems to be doing well after all the losses of the past year, that I get dog kisses every morning, for our church and the friendships we have here, that I have a kitchen to cook in (and I even use it on occasion!), for the blue skies outside my office window and the coffee shop down the street…what are you thankful for?