With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, and Christmas not far behind, we should ponder the significance of these two events celebrated this time each year. As I pondered these Holiday’s I remembered family moments shared with others since my childhood and realized how differently I see things now than I did those many years ago. The deeper I went in my reflection I could not help but think how these events have become part of the fabric of my everyday life. As Christians, we must learn to embrace each day as if it is our last and not allow ourselves to be governed by our past or our future. “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8).
Therefore, each of us knows that we cannot get yesterday back, and many would not want too if they could. Our past is for us to learn from in the hope we can grow from both our good and bad experiences. Furthermore, those who are wise do not spend too much time or effort on tomorrow knowing it is not guaranteed to us and may never come. Although it is wise to plan, this should always be based on the will of the Father. Thus, each of us are left with just one day that should consume our main focus and that is TODAY. If you think about it, each day we all have many things to be thankful for (Thanksgiving) as we celebrate the purpose of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection (the Gospel). Consequently, true Christians (citizens of heaven) will view these Holidays differently than the citizens of this world. Moreover, we must be careful not to get caught up in fruitless arguments with those who view these Holidays from the commercial non-Christian perspective fostered by the spirit of this world.
Therefore, true followers of Christ must not be so quick to judge those caught up in in the commercial hubbub as many of them simply do not know any better. Hence, we must not be that person who spends time beating others over the head with the “true meaning of these Holidays” without taking the time to pray for those who do not know or see the true meaning. This all too common behavior is likened to the parent who takes to yelling and screaming at their children in an effort to correct them for doing something wrong. Most of the time these children don’t really understand what they did wrong, but instead just know that they made their parents really angry (and in turn may resent their parents behavior towards them). If only these parents in their efforts to correct poor behavior would take the time to explain what is wrong instead of going on a rant. I am thankful our Heavenly Father does not treat us like that.
Thus, Thanksgiving and Christmas, events that provide a way to give thanks and remember the true meaning of Christ’s coming, should not be something we have to wait to celebrate on a calendar date that may never come. Instead, these celebrations should be part of the fabric of our everyday life. We need to be careful not to blindly get caught up in the ways of this world as we once did before we became new creations in Christ. The scriptures tell us clearly, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17).
Finally, the true followers of Christ are called to be a light of hope in this dying world. How will the world appreciate anything other than what this world has to offer if they cannot see true Christians behaving differently from them? The lost people of this world need to experience the true love of God and we are here for that purpose! “Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” (Colossians 2:6-10).
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