“Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with celebration!
Come before him with shouts of joy!
Know that the Lord is God—
he made us; we belong to him.
We are his people,
the sheep of his own pasture.
Enter his gates with thanks;
enter his courtyards with praise!
Thank him! Bless his name!
Because the Lord is good,
his loyal love lasts forever;
his faithfulness lasts generation after generation.”
Psalm 100 Common English Bible (CEB)™
Here we are again another time of Turkey stuffing, family, and shopping. If you are expecting the pastoral rant about making the holiday more about Christ, thats not exactly what I had in mind. No, thanksgiving comes to us as a time to be thankful in all things, and for all things. While we may spend that time in the food, or football, or in my family all the holiday shopping ads, those things are not wrong nor do they make God angry. This year I would like you to consider that instead of forgetting all about God, or going all extremist and all things about the holidays are a sin, instead can He be first? I am hoping that my family will start with prayer, or will start with a heart of Thankfulness to God before gorging into the stuffing, and the green bean casserole (My wife’s favorite!) Here are some suggestions for us to keep God first!
- Got any music lovers in your family? Why not sing Amazing Grace sometime in the middle of the meal?
- Pray before you eat.
- Go around the room and say one thing you are thankful for and then after everyone has gone, say thank you to God and Jesus.
- Make plans as a family to go to church on Christmas Eve! What a great thing to see candle light, and sing Silent Night together!
- Set a budget for the holidays that gives families room to breath, so their stresses can be on kids like me finding gifts (Sorry Mom!:(
- Finally, if nothing else this Thursday when you and I wake up, will you join me in kneeling old school by the bed first thing in the morning and thanking God for all He has done and will do!
My prayer for you this year is to find out God’s greatest gift for you is Christ! I am thankful that you would dare even try to figure out what Christ means this Christmas.
Strive on My Friends Strive on!
Pastor Richard Hiltibran