Can you believe that it is already the month of November?  Soon the holidays will be history and the New Year will be in sight.  At times, it seems that the holidays come and go in the blink of an eye.  The year goes by so fast that it becomes a monumental task to eat up the candy corn before Christmas, the candy canes before Valentine’s, and the chocolate hearts before Easter.  Simultaneously, the stores stock the shelves with ghosts and goblins of Halloween and the decorated trees and nativity scenes of Christmas.  Sandwiched right between the two are a few lone scarecrows and a bounty of cornucopias.  Thanksgiving is a holiday that often gets overlooked amid the medley of holiday cheer.  Let’s face it: Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the best holidays on the entire calendar.  So, don’t rush through the holiday hustle; stop and savor each and every moment of holiday hope!
In its simplest terms, the word hope means to desire something with anticipation.  In contrast, the word hustle can even mean to manhandle something!  Think about it.  Do you want to anticipate the holidays or handle them roughly, pushing them along?  It is my prayer that we can avoid the hustle.  Instead, it is my hope that we can anticipate the holidays as a child anticipates Christmas morning when they finally have the chance to unwrap the gifts underneath the tree.  Whether you are 8 or 80, the Christmas season still holds the same meaning as it did when you were a child.  Sure, you may have finally figured out that Santa Clause doesn’t really slide down the chimney to deliver gifts during the night.  And you may have decided that Frosty didn’t really come to town one day.  But there is one Christmas story that never grows old.  It is not based on fiction, but on reality.  And it is truly the greatest story ever told.
Jesus Christ came to this earth as a baby in a manger.  He was not born in a palace or a hospital, as most kings would be.  Instead, the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords was born in a stable in Bethlehem.  Jesus was born of a virgin, visited by shepherds and wise men, adopted by Joseph, a carpenter.  God chose to have His Son come into the world with humble beginnings.  But He knew that Jesus would grow up to be the Savior of the world by giving His life for you and me.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  Jesus loved you and I so much that He journeyed from a manger filled with hay to a cross where He shed His blood to save us from our sins.
During this holiday season, remember to thank Jesus for loving you so much that He gave all He could give.  He could have called ten thousand angels, but He stayed on the cross so you could have a personal relationship with Him.  But He didn’t stop there.  He continues to bless you with family, friends, food, and so much more.  This Thanksgiving, as you sit around a table piled high with a perfectly carved turkey, succulent stuffing and fluffy mashed potatoes, topped off with a slice of pumpkin pie garnished with a dollop of whipped cream, remember to take time to give thanks.  Give thanks for your family.  Give thanks for your friends.  Give thanks to God.  Slow down and take time to anticipate each holiday with hope.  Hope for a joyous celebration.  Hope for family and friends gathered around.  Hope for the greatest gift of all: Jesus Christ.  Don’t shuffle through the holiday hustle; fill your heart with holiday hope!
In Christ's Love,