As I scrolled through my news feed this morning, it was filled with people proclaiming all things Christmas. And I get that. Christmas is a magical, exciting time full of memory-making activities, gift-giving, and just pure merriment. But there’s something so very special in the month that falls between Halloween and Christmas, and that’s Thanksgiving – Eucharisteo, a fancy Greek word that simply means giving thanks.
In Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, she talks of this precious act of giving thanks in all things, even the hard things. One thing that she points out is that in scripture thanksgiving always precedes the miracle: Jesus feeding 5000 (Matthew 14:19, Mark 6:41, Luke 9:16, John 6:11), Jesus feeding 4000 (Mark 8:6), Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41), Jesus at the Last Supper before His death and resurrection (Matthew 26:27, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:17). In all these instances, Jesus gave thanks to the Father first then the miracle followed. Thanksgiving preceded the miracle.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ – a miracle! The season of Thanksgiving precedes the Christmas season. This is no accident or coincidence. May I say it again? Thanksgiving precedes the miracle. So, in a rush to get to all things Christmas, a rush to get to the miracle of the birth of our Savior, let’s put the brakes on and relish the season of Thanksgiving – the miracle-giving season of Eucharisteo. Let’s take the time to thank God each day this month for the beautiful, joyful things in our lives as well as the ugly, hard things. I wonder what kinds of miracles we might see in the Christmas season this year if we really did Thanksgiving right.
So I say to all my friends who are so excited about Christmas: I love you and your enthusiasm! I love Christmas, too, and I’m guilty of wanting to fast-forward to Christmas morning. But let’s do something different this year; let’s practice Eucharisteo first then watch the miracles that unfold in December. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry (early) Christmas!
How about taking Ann’s Joy Dare with me this month?