Links Daily Devotional

Beyond Thanksgiving

O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1, NIV)

Surely you were there. You saw the whole thing go down.

You know, the mashed potatoes with gravy, then the turkey, the biscuit, the cranberry, the stuffing, even the green vegetables. A glass of wine. Then the pie, sliced wide, with a dollop of cream, whipped or ice. A cup of coffee. And finally, a tummy pat of satisfaction. Or was that indigestion? It really was a feast!

Yes, Thanksgiving is known for its excess. Hopefully, that means you gave the day some extra attention when it came to prayer and maybe even spiritual conversation. For believers in Jesus, Thanksgiving the day is celebrated best when it is filled with thanksgiving the act. Moreover, we speak commonly on that day of how all our days—and not just this special one—should be marked by thanksgiving, that worshipful expression of gratitude for what God has done for us.

But now, having capped the days with evenings of watching the Australian Open (I really do like prime time golf!), it is time to step forward. It’s the last day of November, and as the calendar turns we point our holiday eyes to Christmas. What, might we ask, does this mean for our thanksgiving?

First, it might be helpful to note that scheduled feasts and remembrances have marked the practices of God’s people since the law was given to Moses. While we may not follow the same calendar as the Jewish people of old (and some today), we do well to capture the threads of right living than run through into the New Testament: rest, remembrance, thanksgiving, praise, and yes, even feasting. It’s curmudgeonly, sure, but also sometimes fashionable to pooh-pooh the holidays for their commercialism, their irreligion, their busyness, even their social demands. But isn’t it the way of the enemy to profane all things? And shouldn’t it be our way to respond with greater commitment to keeping the main thing the main thing at the holidays, to celebrate rightly and bigly?

And so, we come to the wonder of the Christmas season. If Thanksgiving is a holiday where we worship God for what he has done, then Christmas is a holiday where we worship him for who he is. And just like thanksgiving, which should be expressed every day of the year, so also should adoration be sung and said year-round, including these days leading to Christmas. Let us sing and say of our God that he is Creator, Redeemer, Savior, Lord, and Coming King! Let us project and proclaim the majesty of his name!

Jeff Hopper
November 30, 2015
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