I Love Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. I always have.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were special times for my family. I grew up in the same town with both sets of my grandparents. Though my father‘s father died when I was eight years old, we continued to meet together on Thanksgiving day and again on Christmas day.

One of the interesting things about my family is that my dad and his brother married sisters. Therefore, I have double – first cousins. When I went to my grandparents for special days those cousins were always there. For that reason, we are very close. I also have an uncle from my mother’s side of the family that is two years younger than I am. We grew up together. That also makes us all close.

But for all of the good thoughts and feelings I have about the holidays, the holidays are not always easy—or even fun.

Right now in the church where I serve as pastor, there are multiple families going through very difficult circumstances. They have to do with special needs children, divorces, estranged spouses, estranged parents or children, as well as sickness and death.

All of those difficult events make life hard. Some people might say it ruined the holidays, but I don’t think that’s the case.

I really think it’s exactly the opposite. I think the holidays make it possible for us to go on in the most difficult circumstances.

I usually encourage people who are going through the hardest of times to focus more and more on the God to whom we give thanks and on the gift of God’s Son for us at Christmas.

As hard as life is today, can you imagine how hard it was before we knew the hope of Christ? I am often asked, “How do people without Christ handle the hard times?“

I wonder that myself.

Though life is difficult, we find our hope in Christ. God sent His Son because He loved you and because He cares for everything about you.

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