Many of y’all know I don’t celebrate Christmas anymore. What many y’all may not know is that, contrary to eyars gone by, and due in large part to Arthur Burk’s influence, I no longer critique others’ choice to celebrate the same, whether or not it is unbiblical, though I have reasons stated for no longer so doing.
That said, if Jesus is going to be made the center of your celebration, whether you celebrate Christmas or Chanukah, or account all days the same (Romans 14:5), and if it is going to be an act of warfare, given we do not needlessly cede anything to the enemy that God created, including the time span that happens to be labeled December 25th, then we simply must regularly exercise a quality of spiritual warfare that we commonly call by the name “thankfulness”.
Carl is a man of God whose walk with God is robust and makes many of my generation’s walks appear anemic by comparison. He assigned me and my now-ex-wife to do altar ministry 10 years ago at our then-home-church, and his formerly-regular, now-occasional counsel due distance are among the best I have received.
Concerning thankfulness, he writes:
Growing up, my mother was the oldest of 4, raised by a widowed single mother and poor would not begin to adequately describe their circumstance.
Those days instilled an attitude of thanksgiving for the little things that never left her.
Looking back, I now understand one of her little idiosyncrasies at Christmas.
She would watch everyone else open their gifts and when that was over, she would take her little Keen Kutter pen knife, and carefully slice the tape, slowly unwrap her gift, and neatly fold the wrapping paper to be saved for another year.
I often wondered why she took so long to open her gifts, but as the years pass I think now I understand.
It was the savoring of something good, An attitude of joy and appreciation that centered as much on the love that brought those gifts as on the gift itself.
“We didn’t have a lot in those days” she once said, “so we wanted to make what little there was, last as long as we could.
In her eyes, an orange and a pair of sox held the same esteem as the grandest, most extravagant gift imaginable.
When she passed, she left a drawer full of neatly folded wrapping paper, some of it so old it was yellowed and brittle and now I know, tucked away in the folds were a lifetime of memories made more precious by thankfulness.
I didn’t save the paper this morning, but I did use her little Keen Kutter pen knife to carefully slice the tape and as I unwrapped my gifts, taking care not to damage the paper, I remembered to be thankful for all the good things in my iife, even the little ones.
Jesus is Lord
I can only add a hearty “amen”. And this post honors the deposit of thankfulness and gratitude in even the small matters.