Like many of you, I experienced a very different Thanksgiving this week. Rather than family members crowded around the dinner table, we were huddling over video screens as we made the most of technology to share the day.
I suppose these video chat services should be high on our list of blessings for which we give thanks but it is hard not to compare a virtual visit with the real thing. In fact, every time we compare our own circumstances with those we might prefer, we make an active choice for dissatisfaction.
Everything about this year lends itself all too easily to comparisons to previous years, as well as to worries about just how we will get through whatever lies ahead.
As always, the Scriptures have encouraging words for such a time as this.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? …Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 … and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.Matthew 6:25,27, 31-34 (NRSV)
As we move into the Christmas season, let’s make a decision to celebrate Christ’s birth in a new way, with no comparisons to years gone by. Let’s choose to find the joy in this season; joy and gratitude for God’s great gift of love that does not depend upon traditions or circumstances.