Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day.
Families came together to celebrate being together as parents again, perhaps for the first time this year. They savored their favorite holiday dishes, caught up with family news and remembered the days gone by; they were no longer missed by their loved ones, but they cherished and remembered them with deep gratitude. Thanksgiving is one of our most revered holidays, and rightly so.
Today is thanksgiving day. For believers, every day is a day to thank the Lord. For me, the first prayer of every new morning is simple:. “Thank you Lord. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord.” I won’t live long enough now to pray to Him enough in the morning. I would have liked to have started a life earlier.
So thank you, Lord, for this beautiful lake that I sat next to, on my porch, while I was writing this column. Thanks to Doris, the best playmate ever, who played with me in the clear lake waters at Crystal Beach so long ago. Thank you for many other and precious loved ones, many at home with you now, and those who are still here with me, children and grandchildren, other beloved parents and faithful friends, here with me again, to thank you , Lord, for this beautiful Eden that we call Earth. Thank you for your costly grace and your salvation, most of it. Thank you Lord.
Hear King David thank the Lord. David’s psalms are overflowing with jubilant gratitude for life, for the merciful forgiveness of his sins of lust, adultery, and murder, and his soul iniquities, hidden but now confessed. Hear David’s exultant gratitude for his restoration to daily fellowship with God, whose heart David diligently sought. Few have equaled David, the young shepherd made king of Israel, in his thanksgiving to the Lord God.
Extract from Psalm 30: 11,12: “You have turned my mourning into a dance; you took off my bag and surrounded me with joy; So that my glory may sing praises to you and not be silent; Lord my God, I will thank you forever. (Where are the exclamation marks?)
The Hebrew word translated “joy” literally expresses “swirling with joy”. To cry out in gratitude before the Lord God! Spiritual jubilation! Have you seen this kind of joy with your own eyes? I have!
All 23rd. The Psalm is a happy hymn of thanksgiving to the Lord of David, although we tend to miss this joy in our dark tones of recitation.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: you anoint my head with oil; my cup is overflowing. Certainly, kindness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. “
There is no punctuation in the Hebrew text; verse divisions and punctuation added by later translators; and exclamation marks, not commas or semicolons, belong appropriately after each of David’s five cries of thanksgiving in verses five and six. Count them. Jubilation like this demands exclamation points! So, too, in Psalm 30, and especially there!
Hear voices of thanksgiving now from us, young and old; they too will bless our hearts. First of all young people. The story unfolds like this. Having just heard with his parents a sermon on the 23rd Psalm and its image of the overflowing cup, and joining in with the singing of the devout words of the concluding hymn, “Fill my cup, Lord, I raise it, Lord, “a little girl said,” I just got a little cup, but it’s overflowing a lot. “
Praise the Lord! It’s Thanksgiving!
A seasoned country preacher put it this way: “No matter how big your cup is, lift it up!” If it’s a cup of tea, lift it up! If it’s a bucket of water, lift it! If it’s a number three wash tub, lift it up! “
Dr RC Sproul, Presbyterian pastor-teacher-preacher-theologian, now at home with his Lord, said, “God is looking for people whose souls are on fire, who cannot wait for Sunday, who love to worship God.
Holy Spirit, set our souls on fire! Fill us with “the fire of the Holy Spirit!” “
Amen! Amen to everything! May thanksgiving and glory to God abound! He is worthy!
Thanks to God.
Dr. Elizabeth Barnes is a retired professor emeritus of Christian theology and ethics at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., And a resident of White Lake.