I saw Santa Claus yesterday. I did a double take because yesterday was November 10th. I had not been drinking. I was driving home after a long workday, and as a drove through my small town headed home, I saw him. He was a life-sized Santa statue sitting atop a table outside a small restaurant called The Three Eared Rabbit (no kidding).
It pulled me out of my drive-home-daze, and I started looking around me, noticing all the other Christmas decorations going up. Before Thanksgiving. It seems more and more we are skipping right from Halloween to Christmas. No money to be made from Thanksgiving they say.
I’m not too bothered by this really. I like Thanksgiving. It’s not that I am ready to make it a non-holiday or anything. But I’ve decided that for the first time ever I am going to put up my own Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I think we need the hope of Christmas more than ever this year.
In the light of all we see around us, we need to be clinging to the hope that the birth of Christ offers us all. I am thankful for many things in my life. This last year has been quite a doozie for my family. Lots of challenges, many obstacles to overcome. I know some of you have faced some overwhelming challenges this last year as well. Job loss, financial troubles, relationship breakdown, illness, and the like.
I am thankful for the precious people in my life. My family, my friends have blessed me so much. I am thankful for the job opportunities that have come our way this year. I am grateful for even the very basics of life now. Food, shelter, clothing. No, it’s not that I want to skip this time of Thanksgiving at all.
But in the big picture, I’m talking about
the really big picture
of life, all those things I am thankful for fall infinitely short of my thankfulness i feel that God saw fit to call upon his only son to leave his heavenly home to come and be born of a virgin for me. For us.
That, above all, should be the reason we get out of bed in the morning. As Christians if we get out of bed just to pursue the things of this world, then we have missed the best reason to hit the floor running at the break of day. If we can manage to look at life in the light of eternity, it all begins with the birth of that baby. Without that, all else would be meaningless.
So I do think this is a great season of the year to recognize all the things we should be thankful for. God has given us many things. Great things. Even the challenging things He gave us this year was to improve and bless us. But the most grateful I am this year, is for the great hope that came when Christ was born.
So I will join others in ringing in Christmas a little early this year. For the hope of Christ fills my heart with Thanksgiving like nothing else.