This week is an incredible time in our society. While we celebrate being thankful, we also encourage acts of incredible excess. Since I have been working with the Advent Conspiracy it has really pushed me towards seeing excess in the world around me. We (and I include myself here on purpose) live with incredible amounts of excess. By all intents and purposes we are rich beyond compare to about two-thirds of the rest of the world.
This week is the time we designate to be thankful, not the rest of the year, but only this week. I think this is a bit short-sighted on our part, we have so much to be thankful would it not be better to designate one week to ignoring our blessings. This time of year is one where we begin to take a look at our lives and be thankful, and I am as guilty as anyone else of this. The daily stress and busyness of life has a way of preventing us from truly being thankful.
We have so much more than just material affluence to be thankful for though, and we often do not live the life of gratitude that we should. The gift of grace is something that we should be ever increasingly thankful for, but often we live just for life in this world. We have been given an incredible gift, one that does not end in this world, but extends in what is to come.
Now this may sound kind of strange for Thanksgiving week, but we need to live a life that is much more thankful than we often do. Our thankfulness should extend into all areas of our lives, we should live so that other can see our joy. Our thankful lives are to end in service to others and to the place that gives us the hope of what is to come. That place is the church, the place that supplies our hope for the life to come.
So in our yearly week set aside for being thankful let us set about living a life of gratitude for the many material and supernatural gifts that we have been given. But please do not keep this to yourself, talk to your friends, your family, or me about what you are thankful for. An ongoing conversation of thankfulness goes a long way to fostering a life of gratitude.