Sometimes I wonder if our capitalistic society has twisted some of our holidays into events they weren’t supposed to become. Don’t get me wrong—I appreciate our free market and the role supply and demand play in America—but I sometimes wish the desire for profit could be eliminated, if only for a few days.

Think of almost any holiday, and our department stores and greeting card companies have used it to pad their bottom line. From Valentine’s Day to Independence Day to New Year’s Day, sometimes the emphasis becomes the chocolate, the barbecue, or the fireworks instead of the underlying significance.

Sometimes Easter is little more than a time to model new dresses, and the profit margins of the Christmas season will make or break many retailers.

Even Thanksgiving, with a theme that is genuinely biblical, can degenerate into all-night vigils to try to beat the masses to Black Friday’s doorbusters. Or it might be more about food and football than honoring the One who’s blessed us.

This week let’s take time to thank God—truly, genuinely thank Him. Let’s thank Him for the food we’ll eat and pray for the millions of people throughout the world who will be scrambling just to get enough calories to make it to the next day.

Let’s thank Him for family, while we remember the ones whose holiday will be saddened by reminders of loved ones they’ve lost.

Let’s thank God for forgiveness, the fact that we’re part of his family of redeemed, sanctified, hope-filled, and saved children, and let’s pray for the many people whose hearts may be filled with gratitude, but they don’t really know the God they want to thank.     —Chuck

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:15-17).

—Chuck