When we see Thanksgiving and Christmas as holy days, that puts the spiritual aspect of it front and center. First and foremost I see Thanksgiving as a time to reflect on the blessings of God. Taking time to not only count my blessings, but to reflect on how God has been there for me this past year. The turkey and dressing becomes secondary. The football games can wait while I spend some time with God. Seeing Christmas as a holy day and not an excuse to shop till I drop shifts priority away from myself, or even family and friends, to the manger – the Christ child.
How do I make this shift? It is more than just changing the spelling; it is changing my mind. Jesus wasn’t just an afterthought of God. God didn’t say, “Well I guess that whole Law thing didn’t work out. What should I do next? Oh, I know I’ll send my Son.” The whole focus of history is God telling us his love story for us. From Genesis to the Gospels, we see man’s struggles with sin, with trying to be good enough for God’s love. God already saw us through the lens of the cross – “For God so loved the world that he gave us his only son.” Christmas is the beginning of this part of the story. From the manger to the cross and on to the resurrection, God has put his plan into action for us. The rest of the New Testament begins the rest of the story, “How will we respond?”
Christmas allows me to reflect on this story, but then to ask myself what my part of the story will be. How will I answer God’s call to new life through his son? When this is my focus Christmas goes from being a nice holiday to being the most important Holy day.
So this holiday season let us celebrate the HOLY DAYS!