Whether you spend time on Facebook or not, you probably know that this popular social networking site is a place where our global community can speak, share, and promote with one another with a similar type of colorful note. As you scroll through the pages, you’ll see concerns, celebrations, and gripes. People “post” about their beloved sports teams, favorite bands, children, and pets. There are vibrant campaigns to raise awareness and funds for every imaginable person and cause. With every new screen, moments of thanks and hope are nestled against sorrow and frustration. All over the Internet, people flock to these electronic venues to share words of praise, concern, and question on blogs, social media, and tweets where the masses can read and respond.
Reminders of gratitude – and lament – posted in visible places are nothing new for people of faith. For hundreds of years, Jews have gathered at what remains of the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem and written prayers on slips of paper, which are then tucked into the nooks and crevices between the massive stones of the Temple Mount foundation. October of 1517 found Luther sticking 95 thoughts on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg “[out] of love and zeal for truth.” There were words of thanks, criticism, and hope for change.
Even our own homes and lives are filled with notes and reminders of thankfulness. We cover our walls with photos and paintings of meaningful people and places. Thank you notes and beloved photos are plastered on our fridge with magnets. All of these are extensions of who we have been created to be – people living in community grounded in praise to our loving God. We are wired to share joys and sorrows with one another.
So it comes as no surprise that our giving thanks bursts beyond a single weekend at the end of November and spills out into the other fifty-one weeks of the year. The authors writing an encouraging letter to other believers in a Greek city knew this. They said, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
As Christmas lights and decorations go up around you, maybe even in your own home, I pray that they will be reminders – bright, sticky notes in a darkened world, eagerly awaiting the coming Light of Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus.