Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jumping Out of Greed and Into Thanksgiving

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

We’ve reached the time of year when we pause to give thanks for the multitude of blessings God has bestowed on us throughout the year. No matter what our trials, we can always find the blessings.

Then we rush headlong into a greed gorge-fest of commercialism. Americans devote one day a year for thanks, and it’s quickly diminishing while greed is escalating.

Hurriedness and greed. Is that what God envisioned when He sent His Son to earth? That civilization would reach the point where the glitter and gift wrap would overshadow His gift to us? Certainly He knew, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t grieved Him.

The Bible says Jesus wept. Since we are made in God’s image, I often wonder if He weeps. Something to ponder. Certainly, Black Friday would be a day that could bring tears to His eyes.

In this hurriedness, I think of how we, as Christians, can model something different to the world instead of racing to be the first one to put up our Christmas tree. Or the first one in the store on Black Friday or Thursday night before Thanksgiving is even over, whatever the case may be. Or filling in our December calendar with parties and other activities. 

To truly emulate God, the most important thing we can do next Thursday, besides bow our heads and give thanks, is strive to “walk in the way of love” with our fellow man. The neat thing is—it doesn’t require you to go to a department store, run up your credit card debt, or sweat over your holiday to-do list.

Ironically, we're entering into the season of celebrating our Savior’s birth, yet nowhere in the New Testament do you find Jesus hurrying anyplace. He craved his quiet time.

Close your eyes and meditate for a moment on the phrase “fragrant offering.” A fragrance that isn’t found in the most beautifully scented potpourri or Christmas candle. The image evokes a peace not present in the hurriedness of shopping and baking, nor in the massive stack of gifts accumulating under the tree.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

Paul’s admonition is well taken. December has become an entity all unto itself where absolutely nothing gets done to move life forward. Instead, it’s a race to the 25th to get everything “Christmas” accomplished and then, suddenly, life resumes January 1. A whole month every single year wasted in commercial greed.

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 19b-20

This year as we sit down to turkey dinners across the nation, I challenge you to celebrate an authentic Thanksgiving, “sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,”  and then spend the rest of the day in family time enjoying those God has blessed you with along with peaceful anticipation of our Lord’s birthday.

If you have a prayer request, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or email me confidential requests. If you haven’t read Monday’s post about the upcoming changes in my blogging schedule, click here to read. Next week, I’ll share another Thanksgiving post, but if you’re traveling on Wednesday, know that you’re included in my prayers for travel mercies and safety.

God bless,

©Laura Hodges Poole


  1. Another great post! As more and more stores announce their plans to open Thanksgiving Day, it's so easy to get lost in the commercialism. I join you in agreeing to be intentionally thankful.

    I ask prayer for peace and provision. I'm not traveling that day, but my husband I have separate trips between us in the next few weeks. We're at the time of year when our flex card for medical issues has run out, so we have to pay out of pocket and the bills are coming in. This is an area where I lack complete faith even though He's come through every single time.

    Thanks, Laura! I always enjoy your posts.

    1. Thanks, Julie. So glad you stopped by today and left a prayer request. Medical expenses are no fun, especially when you're facing unknown or large amounts as the year winds down. Having complete faith on any issue can be challenging. I'll be praying for you and your family, along with traveling mercies for you and your husband. God bless.

  2. It was good to take time to reflect on these scriptures. Thanks!

    1. You're welcome, Tina. Thanks so much for stopping by. God bless you.

  3. "December has become an entity all unto itself where absolutely nothing gets done to move life forward." I love that section - it's so sadly true. While it's nice to take some time to relax and reflect on the past year, that's rarely what we take time to do in December in the flurry of gift wrap and tinsel. Thanks for the reminder to keep holidays in perspective!

  4. God blessing from swedn with alot joy to share in grace for to be glad for salvation among inthe Holy Spirit in his quard over our life and our the familys favor for Christa with wonderfult praise for the lord ,thanks and bless and joy,keijo sweden