When you think of the focus on thankfulness, the giving and receiving of gifts, and the sense of an opportunity to start over, it is no wonder that this is often called, “the most wonderful time of the year.”
We even have the order right, although you have to think about it to see it. Looking at the season as we do, we will consider the starting over to be at the end rather than at the beginning. But in reality it is at the beginning with the gratitude and giving coming at the end. Or, to think of it in a better way, as the result.
To me, it simply becomes another example of what we have been given in Jesus.
The “beginning again” comes as we enter Christ and are washed in His blood. By His death all of our sins are washed away in the sacrifice He offered for us. When we trust that sacrifice and trust Him to the point that we surrender our lives to Him we begin the living of a new life in Him. We are raised to walk in a new way of living.
This new life is not perfection. We will still have struggles and sins. Now we belong to Him and we are constantly reminded of what He has done for us. So we enter this struggle to fight to put off our old self and learn and strive to grow into this new self which is striving to be like Him.
All the while remembering that as we go through this continuing struggle of life, we have His great and tremendous gift of the forgiveness of our sins. This great gift actually becomes a strong motivation for us to work harder at putting off that old self and putting own His likeness in every part of our life.
This great gift of forgiveness fills us with gratitude because it is a gift truly given to us even though we do not deserve it and there is nothing we could ever do to achieve it.
The gratitude and thankfulness that fill us make us want to share this great gift with others. We do so by sharing the great gift of Jesus to all and by ourselves forgiving those who sin against us.
Tis the season. Tis the life in Christ Jesus.