I have to smile during school chapels. When I ask our students for song requests, inevitably someone will request a Christmas song regardless of the month. Be it December, November, or even April, they want to sing the Christmas songs. Most of the time when we hear people sing-ing Christmas songs “out of season” our first reaction is to tell them to wait until Christmas. We justify saying this by our fear that our children, or ourselves, often associate Christmas carols with the secularism and commercialism of modern Christmas in America. We don’t want them to ignore the spiritual lessons of Thanksgiving, Easter, or even the 4th of July.
We grow discouraged when we see our society tossing out the concept of a Day of Thanks-Giving and replacing it with a day to find the best Black Friday deals. It seems like modern “Christmas” is at war with the concept of thanksgiving. But if we remember the real reason for celebrating Christmas and thanksgiving we will realize that there is no better way to celebrate Christmas that to Give Thanks to God for sending his Son to earth to be our Saviour. There is nothing greater to be thankful for than for Jesus.
The greatest thing that we can be thankful for is the verry message of Christmas, “Emmanuel, God with us.” (Mt. 1:23)
One of the greatest songs of thanksgiving ever written celebrates this. When God allowed him to bring the Arc of the Covenant to Jerusalem, David was overjoyed. He rejoiced because the Mercy Seat, God’s throne in the Holy of Holies was coming to be with him. He rejoiced because he could say “God is with us.” I Chronicles 16 records this event and gives us this Psalm that David wrote for the express purpose “To thank the LORD.” This psalm tells us how to Give-thanks to God and celebrate “God with Us.”
Here are some ways we should celebrate Christmas “God with Us” from I Chronicles 16. In verse 8 we are to Give thanks, Call upon His Name, and Make known his deeds among the peo-ple. The greatest way that you can give thanks to God is by accepting his Gift of salvation. Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” After that, the best way is to fulfill the great commission and tell others. In verse 9 we are to sing unto Him and talk about his wonderous works. In verse 10 thank God by glorying in His holy name. Our claim to fame is in his name, not in any thing we have done. When we thank God others who love God will be encouraged and we will “let them rejoice.” In verse 11 we thank God by seeking his strength not our own and by seeking his “Face,” fellowship with him. In verse 12-13 we thank God by remembering his works, his wonders, and his judgments. In verse 15 we are to be always mindful, meditating, on his promises. In verse 23, we thank Him not only by talking of his salvation but by showing it in our lives, living for Him. In verse 24 we show His Glory to the heathen, those who know nothing about him, by showing his works in all nations. We also give this glory in verses 28-29 by giving Him Glory (praise), giving our strength, and giving our offerings.
In verse 29 we also glorify and thank the Lord through Worshiping Him. In verse 30 we thank the Lord by fearing the Lord. We should always be aware of his power and the fact that we will have to give account of our thoughts and actions to Him. In verse 31 We thank the Lord by being Glad and Rejoicing in the fact that He is King. And finally in verse 35 we thank the Lord by saying “Save us, O God”. Even though we have been saved from sin we need him to save us from earthly trials, such COVID or any other trial we face. We are to pray “Save us, O God, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, than we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.”
This is my prayer this Thanksgiving and Christmas that God would save us, and gather us together…that we may give thanks to Him.
Pastor Robert Meyer