It’s that time of year. My personal favorite of the upcoming celebrations is Thanksgiving. As one of my children said, “It’s only the best eating day of the year.” Well, yes, but it also says so much more spiritually.
The story of the ten lepers being cured by Jesus reminds us of the need to give thanks. (Luke 17) Only one leper comes back to thank Jesus, the other 9 miss out on seeing Jesus draw close to them. The one leper who gave thanks was not only cured, but also healed. “Where are the other 9?” Jesus asks the question not so much from indignation but a broken heart. The difference? Relationship and love. In giving thanks, the one returning leper realizes what we all can if we give thanks to God. We belong to what makes us grateful. He knows, we know, we are wanted by God. His cleansing of us is His calling us to return to the source of our life. Remember to give thanks this Thanksgiving Day—not just for the great “F’s” in life: food, football, friends and family, but also for Him. He is calling, healing, cleansing.
This great feast day of Thanksgiving is followed this year by the first Sunday in Advent on December 1. The historic church for centuries has rightly set aside these next four Sundays to prepare for His Second Coming as we prepare to celebrate His first coming. He came as a Savior and will return as a Judge, to gather those who come to Him in faith. This is stunningly counter cultural. We simply aren’t ready to sing the carols, at least not in church yet. Let us hear Jesus’ words to “wake up” from the gospels. Let us dare to hear John the Baptist exhort us to repent, turn, and come to God. Let this season, if we are so bold, be a time to fall in love with God. What does it mean to say, ” I love you Lord?” Ask Him how to do that. Take the time. Spend the time. Get prepared. This is what it means to be Advent People.