Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:15-17: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
The day set aside for Thanksgiving has passed and I am seeing many folks who have quickly forgotten how to be thankful. I notice every year how the attitudes of shoppers change immediately on the day after Thanksgiving. People suddenly become hurried and they have very little patience for their fellow human beings. Kind and warm smiles give way to faces with scowls and frowns. Folks that were in thankful and cheerful moods, just a few days earlier, transform into mean and hateful shoppers that have forgotten to remain thankful.
I am afraid that with more stores opening earlier on Thanksgiving night that we will begin to see our traditional day of Thanksgiving become reduced. In a country fueled by consumerism we can expect to see stores continue to open even earlier so that people can shop longer and thus have less quality time for family and friends. And less time for a day of thanksgiving in which most of us stop and thank God for our many blessings.
As I get older, I am just beginning to understand what is important and what is not. In my not so distant past, I felt that I had to spend a certain amount of money at Christmas in order to ensure that my children would have a great and memorable Christmas. Now I realize that it is not the material things that will make them happy, but it is the quality time and memories that we create as a family that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
This Thanksgiving, my mother was not at home for the first time in my forty seven years. It was a somewhat sad but also a very joyous day, because my family was together for that one day. We said grace, shared a meal, and then spent time with my mom at the rehab facility. I was thankful that all of us were able to have another year together.
Our culture and our world, tries to persuade us that we are a failure, if we don’t lavish the people we love with expensive gifts. We become so focused on “stuff” that we forget where our true treasure lies – with God and with family. From now until Thanksgiving 2012, I am reminding myself daily, to be a thankful person for what God has so richly blessed me with.
Our scripture reading today reminds us to not fall in love with the things of this world, because they are temporary, they will pass away. As believers, we are to put our complete faith and trust in our creator God, who will grant eternal life to those of us who are obedient to our Father’s will.