Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Power

by Dan Jones


For most, Thanksgiving is a holiday associated with a great abundance of food, football, and a lengthy nap on the couch.

There may even be a vague sense of gratitude that gently wafts through our turkey-induced comas like a warm, fuzzy, stuffing-scented fog.

But the thought of Thanksgiving as something exciting and powerful?

No, thank you very much, we'd rather have another helping of mashed potatoes... or some of that gelatinous cranberry goo from the can. 


Yes, God is good. Did you save room for pie?

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100: 4-5 KJV

Right, all generations. Thanks for the cheese ball, Lord.


I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30 NIV

Okay, as long as the songs are during the commercials--or at half-time. But not too loud if people are napping.

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song. Psalm 95:1-2 


Wait a minute, there's no shouting to God at Thanksgiving. Definitely no shouting, please. 

And no angels with trumpets. None of that.

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but it sure seems the way the Bible describes thanksgiving and how we actually practice it are in some degree of conflict with our cultural traditions here.
 
Now, I know I'm just a lowly blog-writer and I am very sure if I went to my family Thanksgiving, stood up, and declared in a loud voice,"YOU'RE DOING THANKSGIVING WRONG!followed by erupting into the chorus of "Shout to the LORD," while shaking a tambourine, I would probably do very little to advance the cause of Christ among my relatives.


There is such a thing as "too much, too fast." 
People can change, but they usually change slowly and incrementally over time.


So, as you venture out over the river and through the woods, may the joy of the LORD fill your heart. May you shine the light of Jesus Christ for all to see. May the joy of the LORD be evident in all you do and say. May you bring laughter and warmth and joy wherever you go. May the Holy Spirit fill you to overflowing with thanksgiving and praise.

And, if you can't resist humming a few bars of some fabulous praise song during a lull in the festivities or letting a "Hallelujah" slip out at some good news imparted, well, God bless you.

Today's Praise
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalm 8:1-2 NIV
  

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