GIVING IS THE MAIN PART
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7
Day two of our week of thankfulness, I hope and pray that you can look and see how God has been able to give us everything that we need. I know that as we are getting ready for crazy chaos with Black Friday shopping, we fail to stop and truly give thanks for the small moments in our lives. I know that when I was younger, I really did not take advantage of the time that I had with my family and extended family. I was always ready to go on to the next thing. Never did I ever think about the reality of one day not having them around. Whether it be the fact that we moved out of the state from our extended family or lost loved ones along the way, I just really was so self absorbed that I still never thought about the power of the word giving to the word Thanksgiving. It was always, what do I get out of this day. How can I separate myself from everyone and just do what I want. I was literally more concerned about taking all that I could get for myself and not really concerned about how every time the group seemed to be a little smaller and a little more distant.
Thanksgiving is hard work and it should be hard work. I don't mean that it is a day that we work real hard to get everything cooked or making sure that everything is perfect for the picture. No, Thanksgiving is hard work because satan is doing everything possible to make sure that the day is one more filled with chaos than giving. Satan is trying to do everything
possible to disrupt the day and to turn our hearts and minds away from how much God has blessed us this year and causing us to refocus on our on inward gain. I know that some of you might not catch what I am throwing, but I want you to go back and look at some of your Thanksgiving in the past. Were people always late? Was there great chaos in the kitchen and arguments and frustration? Were there people who disappeared and left the table for the TV so that they could watch a marathon movie or a football game? Did someone get hurt or sick? I could go on and on and on, but the truth is that many of us have forgotten the meaning of giving thanks after we so desperately needed the community connection following the worst pandemic in our lifetime. But now we are back to fast pace and I just want to ask that you slow down and sit a while. Talk and reconnect and find a way to really give of yourself the best that you can. I am not saying it is going to be perfect, but maybe it will reignite a spark of a connection that has been lost.
So today I chose the scripture of Paul's letter to the Colossians. Paul is reminded them to stay rooted in their relationship with Christ and to live our lives in the same manner. Paul is challenging us to live out our lives every day in true thankfulness. We are to literally give our lives to pass on the lesson of thankfulness. Being rooted speaks to our family connections and the importance to make sure that we are pouring into our families the same Gospel message that God has given to us through Jesus Christ. We are to give to others the same amazing gifts of God's love, grace and mercy and what better time to truly share that than with the people God has blessed to have in our lives. These people are more than strangers. They are the ones that are blood to us. Of no other people in the world, we should be loving and giving to the ones who are around our tables. We should be encouraging each other to go and do the same when we leave to go our separate ways. Giving is an attitude and it has nothing to do with material possessions. Giving of possessions is a growth out of giving of self. Giving is the main part and that is why God showed us the greatest example by giving to us HIS SON, and in return we give the same opportunity of forgiveness to every person that we meet.
I know that may not be easy for a lot of us. For one reason or another we may have more outlaws than inlaws in our lives. I know that there are family members that have hurt us and continued to possibly take advantage of everything that we do. I also know that we all play a
part in this life. I know that God has forgiven me and all that I can do is give over that situation and circumstances to God. I know that I have caused hurt and harm as well to others that are family and those who may no longer be friends. I give that over to God as well. Thanksgiving is a time that we stop, breathe and reflect. It is a time that we take a moment and give thanks for the blessing that are still in our lives and those that have been passed on. I just really hope and pray that we can take a moment during the chaos to breathe, look around the room and give thanks to the overflowing of life that God has surrounded us with. May we thank God for those who have gone before us and give praise for the opportunity to pass on the same foundational principles we hold so near and dear to our hearts. In all things may we give thanks and in all things may we praise the Lord.