You may recall that Thanksgiving is the expression of gratitude, especially to God. Maybe some of you are celebrating some great achievements this year and you are feeling so thankful; maybe you have purchased a package of thank-you cards and wrote short notes of appreciation and gratitude to several people. To the contrary, some of you might be asking yourselves, What do I have to be grateful for? The world is full of pain and suffering, hardships and turmoil, disappointment and regrets. Why should I be thankful? What is do I have to be grateful for?
I invite you to work with me to make a list of things for which we are grateful. Better yet, I have already made my list and you may compare your list with mine. Here is the composition of my list of things for which I am thankful:
Good health A loving family
Good friends Freedom of religion
Having a home Breathing fresh air
Clean water Cell phones
Opportunity to get an education Our church family
We should be thankful for the Incarnation - The embodiment of God the Son in human flesh as Jesus Christ. Jesus took on a human body and human nature to experience humanity in all his/her experience so that he might become our Savior. The Good News - The Gospel is that Jesus came to us; to hear our prayers; and to save us (Luke 17:11-13).
We should be thankful that we have another opportunity to celebrate Advent as a time of expectation, waiting, and preparation for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Be very prayerful and earnest as we observe this Advent season, which begins this Sunday and goes up to the Sunday before Christmas. Traditionally, we observe Advent with a wreath with 5 candles that represent 1) Hope; 2) Joy; 3) Peace ;4) Love; 5) Jesus, which will be lit each Sunday.
Let us with enthusiasm and expectation join the Christian Church in purposeful preparation for Advent and the celebration of Christmas. Let us join the voices of generations of saints past and present in the refrain, "O come, O come Emmanuel!"
Rev. Dr. Peter E. Grinion