Summary: We know we should be more thankful, but how? This message series looks at Psalm 100 and how we can give thanks with our life!
This morning, we are starting a new series of messages about Thanksgiving. The series is titled ‘Living in Thanksgiving’ and its based on the passage of scripture found in Psalm 100.
Why a message series on thanksgiving? Well...its really pretty simple: We all could stand to be more thankful. Now maybe you are the exception. Maybe you are already living your life as a way to say thanks to God - but most of us don’t. Most of us are like little children: We want and we get - but we rarely stop to say “Thank you.”
So over the next few weeks, I hope we can learn together how to live in thanksgiving!
I thought this morning, we would start by doing something a little unfamiliar - lets read this text together out loud - but I need some volunteers... (have 3 or 4 readers, read the text after I do, verse by verse)
Let’s give our readers a hand... I had a little advantage didn’t I? I was mic’ed and they were not. Did you have a hard time hearing them? If they were close to you, probably not - but if they were a long way away from you, it was probably hard ...they needed to shout, right?
This Psalm of thanksgiving starts with the image of a person shouting to the Lord. Now we have translated it into make music, or sing ...both are important - but thats not what the Psalmist says here. he is telling us to SHOUT to the Lord. Shout with Joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Its not a shout to be heard though. We aren’t shouting because God doesn’t hear us... God’s hearing is fine.
I spoke with a woman recently that had just got back from a mission trip to Japan. She was telling me about her trip and the beauty of the country and the temples, but she found one thing really different. The temples that she went to were designed in such a way for you to make as much noise as possible on approach. She said that the entry walkway was gravel and crushed rock, so that your feet would make noise. Then you would ring a series of bells announcing your presence - all to make sure that the gods were awake and noticed your arrival.
That is NOT the reason we shout! The reason the psalmist tells us to shout is for exuberance - for joy!
But you know - to be honest - I’m not really a shouter... There are a lot of churches where people shout and are loud and that’s just not me - and that’s really not Crestview.
It reminds me of the story of the little boy who was standing in the foyer of the church looking at a plaque. The preacher came up and asked him if he understood what he was looking at. he said, no sir, and so the preacher says “Those are the names of the men and women from our church that died in the service.” The boy looked up at him with big eyes and asked, “Was it the 9:00 service or the 10:30 service?”
Admittedly, we don’t really shout very often to the Lord - but we do shout from time to time... I shout at soccer games, and I shout at the TV during football games, I shouted for the Red Sox to win ...I shout, we shout, we just don’t shout to the Lord. Why is that?
I would love to blame it on us just being reserved, but I think it goes much deeper than that. I think the reason we don’t shout for joy to the Lord, is because we wonder if there is really anything worth shouting about.
Very few of us really allow God to move us deeply.
Yesterday, I watched the Tech/Kansas game. Tech ended up winning in a rout: 63-14. When the game started though the seats were full and the fans were wild. For the first quarter it looked like both teams were going to keep scoring and it was going to be a wild shoot out ...but at half Tech was up, then in the 3rd quarter kansas just fell apart. What amazed me though, was that the stands emptied. people began leaving in droves. ESPN interviewed their fans as they were leaving the game early and they wanted to talk about basketball... It was pretty bad.
But isn’t that what we do with God? the psalmist tells us to shout for joy and we say, “What for?” “What is there to be joyful about?” ...and I think that’s our problem.
If you and I really want to live lives of thanksgiving, if we want to be able to shout for Joy to the Lord, then we are going to have to learn to delight in the things of God.