Spiritual Enrichment: November 2015
“I make myself rich, by making my wants few.”
Henry David Thoreau
In America, November is a busy time. People are getting ready to spend time with family around the Thanksgiving table and prepare for the bustling Christmas season. During this time of year, it can sometimes feel like to to-do list is never ending. On top of the daily routine, there is pressure from television ads, social media campaigns, magazines and so much more, reminding us to ensure these special days go according to plan. With all of the musts, needs, desires and feasts, it is important to turn our thoughts and focus on God.
Henry David Thoreau said, “I make myself rich, by making my wants few.” We as Christians can relate to this quote because according to Matthew 6:19-21, we are told: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
But lay up for yourself treasures in heaven.
If we pull ourselves away from all of these things that marketing gurus, commercials, neighbors, and even families say that we “need” for the holidays, we can focus more attentively on what Christ did for us. This is the real reason for the season: we are celebrating a new life that began over 2000 years ago and billions of human beings have faithfully honored and cherished Him to the end of time. Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to thank God for our many blessings of family, friends and the provision of basic needs.
Christ came to this earth to die for us because he loved us before He knew us. He came into the world, taking on human flesh, in order to save us from our sins and give us the gift of eternal life. Even though we are in a time where our social engagements seem to take over our lives, and even though this time is wonderful and exciting, the church instructs us to prepare spiritually. On November 14th the advent fast begins which encourages us not only to anticipate with joy the coming of Christ at Christmas, but to be thankful for what we have, to deny ourselves things we want and enjoy, and to participate in almsgiving.
Hellenic College Graduate Student
Reading: Matthew 6
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us focus our minds and hearts on the precious gift you gave to the world, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Our guest author is Elle Pappas, a first year Graduate Student of Theology at Hellenic College Holy Cross. Elle and her husband Jack were recently married in May 2015 and are from St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Elle hopes to one day be a professor in the arts and theology.