Colossians 3:17 NRSV
17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
If you’ve been around church very long, you know that the church calendar begins the church new year as we encounter the season of Advent. It’s the season of preparation. Advent begins at the very end of November or very beginning of December and prepares us to fully celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th.
Over the years, I have noticed something. There is a season of preparation that happens even before Advent. Call it a season of preparation for the coming season of preparation (yes, that even hurt to write – but I think it’s true!)
November is so rich in gratitude and thanksgiving! I believe it is from that posture of gratitude and thanksgiving that we properly enter into our Advent preparations for the coming of Christ into our world.
Think about it. The first Sunday of November is our All Saints celebration. It is a moment where the entire church body gives thanks for the tremendous cloud of witnesses who have gone on before us.
The second Sunday historically leans into a Veterans Day theme (regardless where November 11th falls on the calendar.) It’s a moment where part of our worship includes giving thanks to those who insure we can worship in freedom. Without our veterans and current service men & women, our worship life would look a lot different.
The third Sunday (most years) is Christ the King Sunday. We end the Christian calendar year on this Sunday as we all give thanks in perfect unity, in perfect agreement, in perfect unison as ONE. Christ is King of our world, our lives, and our eternal future. That “Christ the King” shout is the November preamble to the December proclamation that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords!
I recently read a study about something called “walking with gratitude.” The gist of the study was how much a person can lower their anxiety levels by intentionally creating a “gratitude list” each time you go for a walk. As you walk, simply begin listing in your head all the things you’re grateful for on a given day. It’s incredible how your spirit (and physical well being) is changed. Let Thanksgiving be more than just one day – let it become your entire life. Let’s give thanks together!