Summary: Thanks giving is a great holiday however, Christians should be giving thanks every day.
Folks, I don’t know about you but, it hit me that another year has flashed by. It seems like it was not that long ago that we were preparing for and celebrating Christmas. And it seems like only a few days ago I was complaining that the stores were putting up Christmas decorations with the Halloween stuff…right across the isle.
And here we are at the week that the US economy says that we measure what kind of year we really are having.
Doesn’t is seem to be the focus of the financial news. That we as a nation, judge our year based on the stuff we want and purchase after thanksgiving.
We focus on the things we want and don’t have instead of noticing all that we already have. And think it is something to celebrate but, instead it seems to stress that only the tangible and measurable things make a difference.
-- Today we are using a portion of a Psalm for our scripture.
Many bibles include headings or instructions in the book of Psalms which often suggest an author or a situation and even musical instruments.
While the headings are not considered directly authoritative they are ancient, originating while the temple was in operation. So I think they carry some value to help us have a context for the Psalms.
Our scripture this morning has a heading that indicates that it is not written for a “special” occasion.
According to the heading in my Bible, Psalm 92 is simply a song for the Sabbath day. A song giving thanks to God in the normal context of a standard worship service.
Let me tell you that choosing a text that will help us focus on giving thanks to God, might seem like an easy task. There are so many of them to choose from. They are all over the place, the Psalms is stuffed full of them. They are allover the old and new testaments.
So the problem is not in finding a good text it is in finding so many that stress the importance of praise and worship.
I finally settled on psalm 92. For two simple reasons. First it tells us why we celebrate and sing, “God’s love and faithfulness.” Then it acknowledges the joy that comes from knowing it is God’s hand working in our lives which brings a joyful responce.
So, “It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name”
Tell me, do you think it is possible to praise the Lord silently?
Is it possible to just offer a silent prayer and satisfy the need to acknowledge what God has done and is doing in our lives and in our church?
Ok, let me say that silent prayer can be praise but, it is a very limited praise.
I don’t know that we should be satisfied or should think that God is satisfied with limited praise.
How often do we limit our prayers for the things we need and want? Maybe we don’t say them out loud which is a limit. But, do we pester God by making the petition over and over for days and weeks?
In the Old Testament praises included sacrifices of animals and food items to give an outward tangible sign of the thankfulness that the people felt.
Songs were sung and long trips were made to offer praise.
But this Psalm suggests that giving thanks should be a daily thing, “to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.”
To acknowledge God’s love and faithfulness should be a constant thing. Singing hymns and choruses, maybe with the radio might be a valid way of offering this kind of daily praise. But I believe that the point is that they need to be thought about, spoken and even sung about.
Not as a response to a command that must be obeyed.
But as an offering of praise because you see what God is doing in this world, in our country, in our state and especially in our family situations.
Folks, how often have we had politicians take the risk of stating that they are people of Christian faith, publicly? Our president has done so on many occasion, calling for prayer and he was not appealing to Christians to forgive for a personal wrong but for wisdom and guidance.
And more recently, our governor, exposing his faith and belief in prayer to ask God for rain. Man the people come out of the woodwork to bash Mr. Perdue for exorcizing a freedom of speech which includes his statement of faith and dependence on God.
They take a political risk any time they speak out on a subject. They have something to lose, and because they admit a need for God and publicly appeal to God they immediately suffer attack.