I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. Thanksgiving is a great time to remember the many blessings we have. It is a great time as a family to reflect on what it means to be thankful.
However, Thanksgiving is often crowded out by Christmas. Is there a way that the two holidays might be connected? I would like to suggest Thanksgiving and Christmas can be connected through Advent.
Advent is a time of waiting and hopeful expectation of our Lord Jesus Christ. One image that helps clarify the meaning of Advent is pregnancy. Families experience waiting, hoping, and anticipating the birth of the new child. In a similar way, we in the church prepare, hope, and anticipate the birth of Jesus-the light of the world and his return again.
Just as advent is preparation, Thanksgiving can be a way to be reminded why we are thankful for Jesus. Many times my Thanksgiving list includes people in my life and thanking God for His provision.
Today I want to reflect on why I am thankful for Jesus. He is my. . .
- Substitute-Jesus took my place. Where I deserved judgment and punishment, Christ instead took it upon Himself. At the cross, he bore the judgment, punishment, and wrath that I deserved. In exchange for taking all of this, He gives us His righteousness and eternal life. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- Savior-It’s hard to imagine the baby in a manger saving anyone. Yet, the fact that He came in the flesh is important for our faith. Jesus was fully God and fully man and He needed to be both to save us. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost (1 Timothy 1:15).
- Sacrifice-Jesus gave His life for us. He willingly sacrificed Himself so we could live. He is the once and for all sacrifice for our sin. We no longer need to fear what God thinks about us because of the cross, God is completely pleased with us because of Jesus’ sacrifice. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself (Hebrews 7:27).
Enjoy this season of thankfulness and advent as we are reminded of Jesus our Substitute, Savior and Sacrifice!
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
By J.L. Martin
Husband to Bethany
Dad of 1 boy, 3 girls
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Pastor of Children and Family at Hesston MB Church
I have several resources that I would recommend to families as we move into the Advent season. For a list of these resources, yesterday I posted several ideas on my blog at daddy4ms.blogspot.com.