I just have some questions and I am not trying to be snarky or rude.
Why is it okay to set aside one day a year to focus on Gratitude and Thanksgiving?
Shouldn’t we be doing this every day? We have no Biblical Authority for doing so on one day.
This day has its origins in history and human traditions and not the Word of God, which should be the basis for everything we say and do.
The original events were observed by Anglican Separatists and animists and the holiday itself was made official by a US President.
This day is something that the “denominational” world and even unbelievers participate in. Is it okay for us to follow their example?
I am not looking for a fight (or even a discussion, comments or closed) but whatever response you might give for justifying the celebration of Thanksgiving, just go ahead and apply that to celebrating the birth of Jesus. That’s my point.
Where is the Biblical Authority for this day?
After about a year, I finally finished Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels by Kenneth E. Bailey.
It took so long only because it’s so packed full of info you can’t read it like a novel.
It should be required reading for any seminary course on Jesus or the Gospels but it’s not pedantic. He even has a summarized list of points at the end of each chapter. Once you catch the gist of Chiasms (ring structures, which he explains well–ancient type of structure for writing), you will start noticing them on your own in Bible Study.
Each chapter deals with a pericope (one event, section) in the life of Jesus. The book is divided into sections such as the Birth Stories, Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, dramatic actions, Jesus and Women, and lastly, Parables.
The author lived much of his life and taught at universities in the Middle East. He is not only conversant with modern culture but has studied first century culture and all the texts through the Arabic tradition. Did you know there have been many commentaries on the Bible written by Arabic Christians throughout the centuries?! Me, neither, and they provide awesome insight from that eastern perspective.
His work was the basis for Tim Keller’s book, The Prodigal God, which is about Luke 15.
He presents so much background for these stories that often reveal more and more about the Greatness and Grace of God.
His background on the Birth stories change many modern views about the “Christmas” story and are fascinating.
I highly recommend it, especially if you preach and teach often.
Trying to reduce some of my thoughts and concerns into mathematical equations to see if that helps me or you:
Jesus + Capitalism = blessings
Jesus – Capitalism = no blessings
Jesus + America = true hope, true peace, true joy
Jesus + Republican White House = true hope and true peace, safety, honor, glory
Jesus + Democrat White House = despair, no hope, fear
Jesus – Guns = vulnerable, weak, fearful
Jesus + Religious freedoms = blessing, true joy, Abundant Life of John 10:10
Jesus – Religious freedoms = fear, anxiety, terror
Jesus – America = no hope, no peace, no joy, no blessings
Jesus = ?
No comments or discussion this time. Just meditate.