Here’s a new perspective on how to make this trilogy of holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years POWERFUL.
Don’t see these holidays as three separate events, see them as a triune process – one that combines all three to recalibrate our spiritual life. Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s is a sequence arranged by divine providence.
This is the story, lost to our culture. Who were the Pilgrims? They were the front line of an edgy and controversial church relocation project! These believers embarked on their dangerous and costly journey because they cherished freedom – freedom from tyranny and freedom to worship God- more than life itself.
Of the 152 who made the trip to the new world, only 53 remained. They endured brutal weather, contagious and wasting disease, and rampant malnutrition. It was pretty much a disaster – yet they thanked God for sparing them and bringing them to a place of new beginnings. And they thanked God for the Indian friends who provided much of that day’s feast.
1.) THANKSGIVING: Focus on what you are THANKFUL for. Recount all the good things that have happened this past year. (Contagious disease and starvation wasn’t your portion.)
2.) CHRISTMAS: Celebrate the GIFTS God has given you – the new birth, forgiveness and eternal life! Think about the unspeakable gift of the Holy Spirit and then look around at the priceless loved ones who make up your family, friends and colleagues.
3.) NEW YEAR: is a time to recalibrate, WIPING THE SLATE CLEAN, by celebrating what worked, releasing the past and getting positioned for the next 12 months.
These 3 holidays remind me of the 3 Hebrew Feasts: Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles that includes the Hebrew New Year. The Feasts of Israel are a trilogy meant to bless Israel. Both Israel and the United States celebrate a similar sequence of 3 holy days or holidays.
Maybe this explains the coincidence that has Hanukkah and Thanksgiving landing on the same day? Won’t happen again for 7000 years. Hanukkah is a remembrance of God’s supernatural faithfulness to Israel during a period of national distress…when God would not let the light of the temple go out. One flask of oil from the High Priest – sufficient for one day – burned for eight days! Just enough time for the temple to prepare new sacred oil for the sacred candles.
Will God likewise keep our lights from going out as a land founded by those seeking a city set on a hill? A platform for the light of the world? God will keep our light burning – if there are enough hardy Pilgrims left among us.
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