by Scott Nelson – Lead Pastor
It is Thanksgiving week, and that means it is time for Covenant Grove’s annual Thanksgiving Eve service. But why in the world does our church have this service? It makes sense that we have Christmas Eve and Good Friday, but why do we have a special service the night before Thanksgiving? If you haven’t realized it yet, we pray and think through everything we do in ministry. There is a reason behind what we do. I love using the space in these blogs to share those reasons, so you can understand the rationale behind our decisions and see more of what God is doing. Here are four reasons we have a Thanksgiving Eve service:
- It focuses us on God. Thanksgiving tends to be less commercial than Christmas, but we still need the reminder to focus on God in this season. There are always so many other things to focus on, including family, travel, and food. Especially food. Food is good! But God is better. The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). Yep…better than anything – including turkey.
- It creates rhythm to the year. I used to think that traditions were too…traditional. But then I realized that holidays and traditions create a rhythm to the year. Thanksgiving comes after summer is over and school begins. Those who miss summer can be thankful for their summer memories. Those who love winter can be thankful that it is coming. Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Holidays – if we can take the time to focus on their meaning – can bring meaning to our lives. A Thanksgiving Eve service helps us to focus on the real meaning of the holiday. It is perfect before Christmas (and Black Friday) allowing us to focus on the Father’s good gifts before we give and receive a bunch of presents that we probably don’t need.
- Gratitude needs its own day. We can be thankful on every holiday – Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Independence Day. But it is wonderful that there is a day that is focused on gratitude. Did you catch that? On Thanksgiving, we don’t (mainly) focus on the Pilgrims but on God, and this has always been the focus. Our country has set aside a day to thank the Almighty for all He has in our nation and in our lives. Psalm 118:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His love endures forever.” Our Thanksgiving Eve service is all about giving thanks to God; it is the perfect way to honor the holiday.
- We love to worship and connect. We never need an excuse to worship Jesus. Covenant Grove has a Thanksgiving Eve service just because we want to praise the Lord, eat together, give each other hugs, and focus on Jesus. We are a church family, and life is better together. The Bible says, “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). We got breath, and we will use it to praise our Savior King.
I hope you can join us for our Thanksgiving Eve service. This year, it is on Wednesday, November 27, at 7:00pm. All ages are welcome, and invite your family and friends. This is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday and honor God. I hope to see you there!