The Holiday Stress – it’s a real thing, and we are in the midst of it. We often find ourselves caught up in the whirlwind of preparations, from shopping and decorating to planning gatherings and sending cards. Amidst the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of the true essence of the holidays – gratitude, love, and togetherness.
In this rush to get everything done, we may neglect to appreciate the simple joys of the season and the opportunity to connect with our loved ones. Instead, we may find ourselves stressed, anxious, and even resentful. The next 8-weeks can be overwhelming, but if we rest in the goodness of God and allow Him to steward our time and ordain our moments, we put ourselves in a position to see God’s love and shine His light in an entirely different way.
Scripture reminds us to slow down, practice gratitude, and extend love to others. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul writes, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Giving thanks is not just about saying “thank you” for the gifts we receive. It’s about cultivating an attitude of gratitude, recognizing the blessings in our lives, both big and small.
Another essential aspect of the holiday spirit is love.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Loving our neighbors means extending kindness and compassion to those around us, especially those who may be feeling lonely or isolated during the holidays.
Friendsgiving, a relatively new tradition, offers a wonderful opportunity to practice both gratitude and inclusion. It’s a chance to gather with friends, express appreciation for their presence in our lives, and create a welcoming space for others to join in the celebration.
By inviting people from all walks of life to our Friendsgiving gatherings, we can demonstrate Christ’s love and create an environment where they feel valued and accepted. Through our open hearts and welcoming tables, we can introduce them to the warmth and joy of Christian fellowship.
Opening our homes and showing hospitality to others can be a transformative experience, not just for our guests but also for ourselves. As we focus on gratitude, inclusion, and the joy of shared meals and conversations, we can rediscover the true meaning of the holidays and experience the peace and fulfillment that come from living in accordance with Christ’s teachings.
So, as the holiday season approaches, let’s not get swept up in the frenzy of preparations. Instead, let’s slow down, practice gratitude, extend love to others, and make Friendsgiving a gateway to sharing the love of Christ with those around us.
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