By Jeremy Resmer | Sr. Projects Director

It’s that time of the year again. Time for putting up decorations and lights, overindulging in food, giving gifts, year-end bonuses, secret Santas, ugly sweater parties, opening presents, and, best of all, getting together with family and friends. Everyone seems to be in a good mood. While there’s certainly no shortage of opportunities to celebrate or people willing to “share in the joy,” we often ignore the best part of all. It’s the reason for the season, but it’s not the birth of Christ.

The reason for our joy is the opportunity to give thanks, not only for the birth of Christ, but also for his perfect life, death, and resurrection. Each Christmas, we commemorate our Lord’s birthday and frequently usher in the New Year through the renewal of our physical and spiritual bodies (if at least for a short while anyway). It’s our annual wake-up call to get our lives in order, get motivated, get healthy, and get back on track by setting goals.

However appealing this approach may seem, getting serious once a year works about as well as praying once a year, reading the Bible once a year, or going to church once a year. In most instances, it doesn’t. It doesn’t glorify God nor does it reinforce what we were created for—to be in fellowship with God and to share the good news of Jesus with all the nations.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” In all seasons, on all holidays, and in all circumstances, we celebrate with our creator and humble ourselves to the glory of his holy name.

This year, live bigger and better than ever before. Don’t just give gifts or have a jolly old time at Christmas. Give thanks each and every day. Ask God how you can glorify his name and be used to reach the nations and the neighbors. Give thanks, and it might bring purpose to your joy.