Thanksgiving Reflection


Psalm 100

“ Get On your feet now – applaud God!  Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.  Know this:  God is God, and God, God.  He made us, we didn’t make him.  We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.  Enter the password: Thank you!  Make yourselves at home – praise, thank him, worship him.  For God is sheer beauty.  All generous in love.  Loyal always and ever.”

Walter Bruggeman calls Psalm 100 an act of sanity.  “Obviously our world is at the end of insanity and we with it.  In a world like this one, Psalm 100 is an act of sanity, where we may reclothe in our right mind.”  Life is no longer self-grounded without thanks but rooted in thanks.    

As believers, we are well acquainted with a faith that keeps us sane in an insane world.  God helps us to realize that we have some things that we can be thankful for. A God who brought us out of darkness and into the marvelous light, who once were not the people, but who are now the people of God. 

The way to God and identity in relationship to God – is a thankful attitude toward life and all its issues. Eugene Peterson paraphrased verse 4: “Enter the password.  Make yourselves at home, talking praise, thanking him, worship him.” Because I am a traveler, I have all kinds of passwords that I use online. I have passwords for airlines, car rental sites, rewards programs, frequent flyer miles, Hilton Honors, and Marriott Rewards. 

To log in to each of these sites, you need a password.  If you don’t know the password, you won’t get access to what needs to be done.  If you forget your password, you must go through a series of links and codes sent to your phone as another layer of protection to reset it. If you desire to get on Facebook, you must have a password, your checking/savings account, you need a password.  You must have a code to enter in.  I have all kinds of passwords:  holy777, faith77, faithhope81, oldtoes777!  I have so many passwords I can’t remember them all.  I finally decided that if I can just use one password, that will allow me to gain access into cyber world, my life would be easier to manage and track.

This Thanksgiving season, I challenge you to change your password to “thank you.”  As we desire to enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise, try “thank you.”  When we are stuffing ourselves with the stuffing, try “thank you.”  When we can’t remember that it was God who woke us up this morning.  Thank you. It was God who gives us health and strength.  Thank you. It is God who gives us a choice to give gifts toward mission and outreach.  It is God whose helps us to make noise with what we see happing in Israel and Palestine, Sudan, and Ethiopia.  Thank you.  When we are comfortable and hesitant to give up those comforts. Thank you.  When we don’t know what the next day will look like, thank you.   For doing the best that we can and keeping us together as a region. Thank you.

Some of our ancestors didn’t know a lot about passwords, but they can tell you about a God who sits high and looks low.  They can tell you that God opens doors that no one can close and closes doors that no one can open.  They can tell you that Jesus is a shelter in a time of storm.  They will tell you that trouble doesn’t last always.  They will tell you that Jesus is on the mainline, tell him what you want. Now that’s a theological relationship and a reason to say, “thank you.”

“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”