Holidays about giving and thanks


By Glenn Martin
Guest Columnist

This is my favorite season of the year. These two occasions are appropriately close together: one a national holiday and one a Christian celebration fitting our heritage.

Thanksgiving is a result of Christmas. It is birthed by our faith in the God best made known by a son who lived and lives with us. “O give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever.” (Ps. 106:1) “Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift.”

“He who provides seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” (II Cor. 9:10,11)

Thanksgiving is one word because it means thanks and giving. Generosity is the living part of thanksgiving lest it only be a word. Thanksgiving and Christmas are powerful reminders of God’s example of giving to us and through us.

Everyone of us can find ways to share our lives and provisions with others. The inspiration may come at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it is always a giving thanks way of life.

Consider additional ways to give beyond the food basket or under the tree.

One man went to the local water department and asked to pay the overdue water bills for 10 families who might have been without water during Christmas. Water for Christmas.

Even one cup in Jesus’ name is blessed. The department employees helped select those with real needs.

Some are gathering potatoes left in fields by mechanical harvesters. Some give to and work in soup kitchens. Some seek out poor families or check on the lonely elderly. Can you believe that almost half the patients in nursing homes never have a single visitor?

Ask God to put you in touch with real needs, whether physical or spiritual (or can they be divided?).

Use your creativity to find many ways to give thanks to God for his abundant provisions and his “unspeakable gift,” or you can just keep it all for yourself and miss the real blessing.

Martin is a retired elder in the Mississippi Conference and a frequent contributor to the “Advocate.” He lives in Grenada.