Give thanks to the Lord, for He is gracious, and His mercy endures forever.
At Music Practice on Thursday – Keith broke out in Russian and sang the Hymn we were singing – “Give Thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks!”
Unfortunately the rest of us were unable to learn Russian in an evening, but what we did learn is that in Russian and in Hebrew, there were different words for each of the “Give thanks” phrases used (which come from the Psalms), each giving emphasis to a different way or reason to be thankful.
Today as we thank God for all that He has done for us, let every type of Thanksgiving be stirred in our hearts and minds, let every reason for thanksgiving stir in our hearts and let every way of being thankful be evident in our actions.
Of late we have had a lot of negative conversation and there is much dissent and disharmony and complaining going on around us. I have come under a lot of attack and criticism this week and many of the people that I am dealing with have voiced the strain of being in a society so full of negativity. In the midst of our troubles and woes.. Let everything that has breath give thanks to the Lord!
We have been working through the Book of Maccabees in our daily readings (the Deuterocanonical account of the Jewish community struggling with oppression around the years 167 to 151 BC).
The period of History is most important to us as it speaks of the struggle of the Jews to keep Holy in an unholy world and a world that sought, under Greek rulers, to get everyone to conform to the Hellenistic (Greek) way of life. Reviewing the period also helps us to understand the world that Jesus was born into and why the Pharisees and Scribes and the Jewish leaders were so opposed to Him. We need to understand our History, learn from it and live the present with wisdom. The Jews suffered to maintain their way of life and to stay true to God, they showed great courage and wrestled with how to remain true to God in a world that was against Him.
We need to learn that our faith has to be “fought for” our way of life has to be “fought for,” not a violent fighting, but a passionate upholding of our values, a dedication to that which we believe, is serving God.
Our Weapon is love, mercy and hope! We are to resist the devil and he will flee from us. (James 4:7).
On this day as we rededicate our community to God as has been a practice repeated throughout History, it is fitting that we do this on the Celebration of Christ the KING. We give thanks because Jesus is on the Throne and we are His subjects and so let us pledge allegiance to Him and serve Him only.
May God bless you abundantly as you seek the Lord Your God! As you offer yourselves as living sacrifices and as you serve God in every aspect of your daily life.
To God belongs the earth and all it contains, the world and all who live there! (Psalm 24 NJB)
May your life be lived as an expression of your thankfulness to God for the life you have been given through Jesus Christ our Saviour.