Thanksgiving 2014

Psalm 104
1Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
2covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.
3He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind;
4he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.
5He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.
6You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
7At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
8The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them.
9You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
10You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills;
11they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.
13From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth
15and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
16The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
19He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
20You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
22When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens.
23Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.
24O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
25Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great.
26There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
27These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
28When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works,
32who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.
35Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!

In the United States we take a moment every year to remember that we much to for which to be thankful. Sadly, it has become a holiday known for eating too much (which I may do) and watching football (which I would never do). On the upside, it has also become known as a day when we join together with our families or those we may have chosen as family to enjoy each other and live in community. That alone makes it a wonderful day. But since this day bears the name “Thanksgiving” I think that we should indeed take some time to experience that gratitude with intentionality.

Saying “thanks” implies that there is Someone to whom we are grateful. It amazes me that so many people celebrate Thanksgiving without a thought to the fact that there is Someone who has given us every single blessing we enjoy and that is our God – Creator, Savior, and Comforter. Without Him at the center of our celebration all we do is eat and watch football.

Psalm 104 declares the glory of a holy, all-powerful God who loves us and provides everything that we need and a great deal of what we want. Go back and read it again. Sure, it’s a little long. But He’s worth the time. Let the words sink in and find some things to thank God for this year.