I think we’ve all heard the term Christmas in July, but we may not be familiar with the meaning anymore. For countries like Australia and New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere, winter arrives in June and summer arrives in November. Which means, that by the calendar date our Kiwi friends would be celebrating Christmas in the middle of the summer. Can you imagine? It just wouldn’t feel like Christmas. That is why it’s not unusual for them to celebrate Christmas in July.
But sometimes I feel like we, in the Northern Hemisphere also celebrate Christmas in July. Just look at the store aisles lined with ornaments and decorations. Look at all the catalogs in your mailbox urging you to get your Christmas shopping done earlier and earlier every year. For me, it has taken some of the meaning away. But Christmas isn’t the only holiday retail frenzy and overspending has cheapened.
This coming Thursday we’ll also celebrate Thanksgiving. Which I’m afraid after too long will be written about in history books, having nothing to do with the Pilgrims giving thanks to God for the harvest He had provided, but as the holiday Americans simply got too busy to celebrate.
Speaking for the Chessers, it’s our favorite holiday. Yes, we love to eat (maybe a little too much) but those in Agriculture can easily relate to the plight of the Pilgrims. We depend on the rain to grow our harvests, whether it be plants or animals. Some years are good others are not, and as you all know the drought has been bad everywhere. The pilgrims actually celebrated the first Thanksgiving after a summer of high heat and drought. They weren’t sure if they would have a harvest to store away for winter. But when it came down to it, God provided and they had plenty. They dedicated three days to feasting and prayers of thanksgiving. Edward Winslow, the Governor of Plymouth said in a letter “And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”
For me, reading the words “We are so far from want…” is convicting. I take so much for granted. We all do. We’re constantly bombarded with messages that what we have – what we’ve been blessed with, is not enough. We have all we truly need; yet we still want!
I think we’ve all heard the term thankfulness, but we may not be familiar with the meaning anymore.
I hope in the coming days, we’ll all pause and reflect on all that we’ve been blessed with and all that we do have, before rushing out on Black Friday for the things we want.
“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” ― Harry A. Ironside