“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
I’ve noticed a lot of friends devoting this month to “30 Days of Thanks”—an exercise directing heart and mind to gratitude, a special season of thankfulness set apart from the rest of the year. The whole Christian community does something similar in preparation for Christmas and Easter. For Advent and Lent, we have special songs, special services, special times of prayer and traditions within our own families that increase our eagerness to celebrate the birth and resurrection of Christ—what God has done for his people through his Son. These things point us to Jesus in ways that are heart and life altering, exciting.
I often wish that I had the same sort of zeal for seeking Jesus on a daily basis that I do during these ‘build-ups’ to the holidays. It’s still early November, but I cannot wait to start advent with my little boy. It’s a good thing, but I want that eagerness every day. By the grace of God, he has given his Spirit who works to encourage, comfort and revitalize us. By that grace alone, we are capable of change—capable of desiring change. I want the gospel to be woven through the fabric of our family, and not be just the glitter we toss over our lives around the holidays. I want our day-to-day routine to remind us of the miracle of salvation—just like seasons of Thanksgiving, Lent and Advent remind us of God’s faithfulness, goodness and love in precious and unique ways.
I’m not sure exactly what this looks like yet it’s a new idea for me. One example would be to talk and pray and ‘get excited’ about each upcoming Sunday—eagerly anticipating worship with the church of Christ, like a mini advent every week. We could take time to discuss what a miracle it is to approach the Creator of the universe and call him, Father; all the while training our hearts to love and cherish and look forward to the Sabbath. I do know that weaving our lives through with “holiday living” will include getting into the word, bowing in prayer and talking about the Savior as Colossians directs: with the word of Christ, singing and thankfulness, “doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
This November we are going to write down one thing we are thankful for every day and put it in a jar. Weeks will pass, leaves and blessings pile higher, with the hope that the mindset of thanksgiving will stretch over into the rest of the year. Practicing reflection on God’s goodness and trusting the Spirit to work lasting gratitude on our hearts and minds.