Wednesday, November 03, 2010
When I was a little girl, the Christmas season officially began the day after Thanksgiving Day. Those were simpler times. In more recent years that has changed. The introduction of the holiday season has gotten earlier and earlier. There are two ways to look at this precocious attitude toward silver bells, fir trees and chestnuts roasting. One might say Christmas has become too commercialized and that retailers are just trying to cash in on a longer holiday season. Others see this elongated season as a move to embrace a wonderful time of the year for as long as possible. No matter which attitude you ascribe to there is another consideration. By rushing into the Christmas season one hardly has time to relish and savor what could become a month-long theme of gratitude which culminates on Thanksgiving Day. I don't think Jesus would object to postponing the celebration of his birth by expressing our gratitude in this way. His teachings would imply that He considered "gratitude" a noble characteristic...
A favorite story of mine is found in the New Testament in Luke, chapter 17:
"And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."
Through His healing power, those who were lepers were relieved from pain and a certain lingering death. They were given a new life. The expressed gratitude by one of the lepers earned the Master's blessing, while the ingratitude manifested by nine merited His displeasure.
I don't mean to be critical of those whose thoughts are already focused on "Christmas." I just think, for me at least, there might be a better way.
Instead of rushing headlong into the Christmas season, I hope to take a few moments each day throughout the month of November to reflect upon the many blessings in my life. My hope is that on Thanksgiving Day as I gather with family I will be infused with an attitude of gratitude!