If you’re at all like me, I struggle every Advent and Christmas with the focus on getting more and more stuff. Black Friday has become a cultic ritual of greed and rudeness in our land. As though that is not enough, we have now intruded upon the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to rest from our work and ponder the goodness of God. Instead, we have turned the holiday into another frenetic folly-day. No rest for the wicked takes on a whole new meaning for me.
Advent is more about the coming of sales and bargains than preparing for the coming of our Lord we supposedly celebrate on the Holy Day of Christmas. The spirit of giving, as a way of blessing another, has given way to a greed-filled spirit of getting—what I want for Christmas.
In the midst of all these distractions from the meaning of Christmas, I found a refreshing perspective from one of our readers in South Africa. Chris wrote me this week about something he did last Christmas that has paid forward to bless not only his grandchildren but also many others. I delighted to be able to share his giving idea with you—and idea worth spreading.
At Thanksgiving each year we have the privilege of joining ranks with those we call family and the family of God to praise God, the giver of all good and gracious gifts, for His undeserved goodness. As recommended in the first Thanksgiving Proclamation by the Continental Congress in 1782, may we also “testify their [our] gratitude to God for His goodness by a cheerful obedience to His laws and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.”
It is in that spirit that I offer to you this blessing upon all who are gather with you this Thanksgiving Day in the name of Christ to praise Him for His goodness…
“During the festival days you must explain to your children why you are celebrating…” Exodus 13:8 NLT
Repristinate is not one of those commonly used words in our conversations. It simply means to restore to an original state or condition. It’s what we do when we repaint a house or fence. Left unattended, they would deteriorate and fall apart. With a regular coat of paint, however, the original condition is preserved.
Without a little “repristinating” from time to time, traditions also have a way of deteriorating so that the original purpose and meaning is lost.
“Would your Nana answer my God questions?” This was the question one little girl asked her friend who had told her about how wise her grandmother was. That friend happened to be the granddaughter of Jill Briscoe. Have you ever thought about whether the friends of your grandchildren would ask something like that about you?