Christmas Advent Day 15: Preparing with Thankfulness
And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:16-20, ESV)
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 106:1, ESV)
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:15-16, ESV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV)
On Christmas Day, it can be difficult to remember to take some quiet time to be thankful. If your family is anything like mine, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are filled with activities and get-togethers. On Christmas Eve, we go to my grandparents’ house to have dinner, open some presents, watch some college football bowl games, and have a good time. After that, we go to my parents’ house, open presents among the adults, set up the house for Christmas morning, and maybe even watch a Christmas movie before bed.
On Christmas morning, we wake up and open presents together, and then have a nice breakfast. After we clean up the living room and get everything together, we head back home with our gifts, unload everything in the house, get cleaned up, and head back to my parents’ house for the rest of the day. From there, it’s cleaning the house, putting a prime rib on the smoker, making food for Christmas dinner, watching the NBA Christmas slate of games, probably taking a nap, playing with Christmas gifts, putting on a Christmas movie, and waiting for family to arrive for dinner. Once family shows up, there’s plenty of eating, talking, laughing, watching, playing, and lounging to keep us busy for several hours. After that, everyone is tired and it’s time for bed.
You can see how the whirlwind that is Christmas Day can get out of hand. With few quiet moments to be found, I know I find it difficult (to my shame) to take time to be thankful. Of course, I’m thankful for all the food, gifts, and fun time with family, but this holiday is about so much more—the birth of the Lord Jesus.
In preparing our hearts this Christmas season, let us remember to be thankful for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We can be thankful that He ever came into this world, that He was willing to die on the cross for our sins, that we can be saved from our sins because of the work He completed—and be thankful for all the good things we have because of Him.