Originally published November 24, 2010
Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’s birth, but there is no biblical command to observe it. There are however feasts, songs and prayers of thanksgiving are all over the Bible. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Christmas; during his lifetime Jesus was an observant Jew, and every indication is that he observed all the Jewish festivals, including the historical ones not just the religious festivals commanded in scripture. The arrival of “God with us” is a major turning point in all of history. But we are commanded to praise God and give thanks. Moses sang songs of thanksgiving, David wrote his own. James reminds us that “every good gift and perfect gift is from above.” The United States was the first country to observe a national holiday for giving thanks.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! -Psalm 100:4
The word thanksgiving appears 9 times in the Psalms. It appears a total of 42 times in the ESV Bible. Click here to see them all. If you look up variants, such as “give thanks,” you will find many more. Whatever you read, however you celebrate, do not forget to thank God. No matter what this year has been like, there is much to be thankful for.