Friday, November 23, 2007

Norah's typical afternoon outfit: A bridal gown, wings, and though you can't see them, rain boots...

The Gateway

Well, another Thanksgiving is gone and it was awesome! I think I’m still pretty full actually. They say the average American consumes around 5,000 calories during Thanksgiving dinner, and it feels like I definitely did my part to keep the national average up there… I ate piles of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, rolls and even some fruit! And not only was the food awesome, but the football was great too! We watched the ancient Brett Favre (he’s really only 38) throw 20 consecutive completions for 342 yards and two touchdowns on the day. All in all it was a great day of enjoying the three ‘F’s of Thanksgiving, which are, of course: food, family and football.

As we were driving to Nan’s house Anna said it felt like we were going to heaven… We thought this was pretty interesting, so we asked her why, and she said it was because we were going a long way… but, as Christy pointed out, we were going to a feast, so maybe Anna was onto something after all. The more I thought about it, the more like heaven it seemed: tons of food that is too good to be true, tons of family loving each other and a spirit of thanks in everyone’s heart… Now, I know heaven is going to be way better than any holiday here on earth could ever be, but there is something about Thanksgiving that is very heavenly.

Psalm 118:19-21 says, “Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.”

I think that from an emotional standpoint, Thanksgiving is the most powerful holiday there is, and it may be the day when more people are closer to Christ than they even know. You see, gratitude has power. It has power to change a person’s emotions, to lift us out of our selves… out of self-focus and into a place where we can think about others. Saying thank you is a big thing because when a person says “thank you,” they are admitting that they needed help, needed someone else. It is admitting that we’re not self-sufficient and that we can’t make it on our own. Gratitude is an essential element in the Gospel… in fact, gratitude is the gateway to heaven.

You see, thankfulness is the difference between knowing Jesus and every other religion in the world. Everything else is about self-improvement and self-qualification but faith in Christ is different. See, the truth is that there is nothing we can do to improve ourselves or qualify ourselves to earn heaven or righteousness, but everything that is required has been done on our behalf by Christ. He offers all that we need for free. He offers us charity and all we do is accept and say, “Thanks.” This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. It’s why Thanksgiving is probably the most like heaven of all of the holidays: a big family, gathered around a feast with thankful hearts… heaven.

1 comment:

Christi Noe said...

Fact - I was feeling sorry for myself, and focusing on myself and my loneliness.
Fact - I logged on to your blog to be reminded of how much Jesus loves me and to bu uplifted by wit and wisdom from my brother.
Fact - Your blog said exactly what I needed.
Fact - I'm thankful for you and your blog.

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