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The Christian Holiday of Thanksgiving!

What does Christmas mean to you?

You can ask this question to 1,000 Christians and will likely get a large variety of responses, but most will be focused around "the birth of Jesus." That doesn't really answer the word "meaning" to the day, however. That may be the origin of the day and the "why" of the day, but it's not really the meaning of the day. Let me explain what I mean by this by digging in a little deeper into what I feel the actual meaning behind Christmas should be.

The USA has a holiday in November called Thanksgiving. This is essentially a once-a-year secular holiday with the purpose of coming together with family and friends to show thankfulness by sharing a big meal with each other. Although this American tradition is a secular one, I do feel that the principles behind it should be translated to Christmas, making Christmas the Christian Thanksgiving in a sense.

Here are a few verses concerning the topic of thanksgiving in the Bible before I dig too deep into my personal beliefs on the topic:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (HCSB) – “Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV) – “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Isaiah 12:4 (HCSB) – “and on that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to Yahweh; proclaim His name! Celebrate His works among the peoples. Declare that His name is exalted.”

Psalm 118:21 (HCSB) – “I will give thanks to You because You have answered me and have become my salvation.”

Psalm 118 is so powerful in the spirit of giving thanks, that we have actually labelled the chapter as “Thanksgiving for Victory.” The Scripture above and Psalm 118 as a whole are just a few quick examples of how giving thanks (thanksgiving) is such a vital component of our faith. If we are not giving thanks to our Lord and Savior, then where is that thanks being focused? I know for me it has often been focused on myself in a very self-righteous manner which is obviously not what God expects of us.

We all have many things to be thankful to the Lord for in this life, even in the depths of the trials, tribulations, and difficult circumstances this life may bring before us. All Christians should be familiar with the below verse:

John 3:16 (HCSB) – “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Christmas isn’t just our representation of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is the day that we should be celebrating in a way that we come together to give thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because without His sacrifice we would all be lost.

Romans 6:23 (HCSB) – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 14:6 (HCSB) – “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Hebrews 1:3 (HCSB) – “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

What are You thankful for from God this Christmas? Are You celebrating His birth because without that birth we would all be lost? I wish a happy birthday to Jesus this Christmas, which we use to represent his birthday. I also give all my thanks to Him because without Him I would have eternal damnation instead of eternal life. Without His sacrifice, I would never be able to atone for the amount of sin I’ve committed in my life.

Romans 5:8 (HCSB) – “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!”

1 Peter 3:18 (HCSB) – “For Christ also suffered for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 (HCSB) – “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Thank You, Jesus, for all that You are and all that You have done for me in this life. Although I have made many mistakes in this life, You have always been faithful to me. Although I have had many failures in this life, You have never given up on me. Although I have had many trials and hardships in this life, You were always there to help me through them even when I refused to go into Your comforting arms in the moment.

Thank You so much for everything, Jesus, and especially for Your prayer of forgiveness over us to our Father in Heaven just before Your death!

Luke 23:34a (HCSB) – “Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided His clothes and cast lots.”

How are you celebrating the Christian holiday of Thanksgiving, commonly known as Christmas?

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