Psalms of Thanksgiving
“Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.”
In the Psalms there are many different expressions of worship. Some psalms focus on the struggles in life, both for us as individuals and for the worshipping community as a whole. Some psalms are praises to God, and many of these name specific reasons to give God glory and honor. I am fond of the Thanksgiving psalms, those that encourage us to offer our gratitude to God for the blessings of life. Psalm 111 is a statement of gratefulness from an individual with these words: “I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with godly people.” The writer of Psalm 92 admonishes us: “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.” Psalm 69 states: “I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor Him with thanksgiving.” The words of Psalm 50 give us this instruction: “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vow you made to the Most High.” Psalm 100 is a favorite among the thanksgiving psalms. The setting is the Temple in Jerusalem as people are going up and into the place of worship. The worshippers are asked to enter into the sanctuary with thanksgiving, and to bless the name of God. Why? Because the Lord is good. God’s love and faithfulness are infinite; God’s love goes on forever.
In our house we pray a prayer of thanksgiving several times a day, thanking God for the many blessings we enjoy, especially our family and friends as well as the constant care that God extends to us daily. We know God is good to us. We know God watches over us. We know that God will never leave us nor forsake us, and we are grateful beyond our words. In the spirit of thanksgiving psalms, I offer you this prayer today: The world is a gift, O God, and we thank you for it – for earth to till and flowers to smell and trees to climb, for warm fires on cold nights, for friends and loved ones to embrace. Forgive us for days when we are too distracted by our selfish natures to see the beauty of it all. Help us to be better examples of your grace and mercy. May our congregation be a community of love and healing. May we always praise your name with thanksgiving. For yours are the kingdom and the glory forever. Amen.