Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! – Psalm 107:1
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him! – Psalm 34:8
Several years ago I came upon an idea for Thanksgiving worship which included listing by name the specific things for which people were thankful in the worship folder. We used the five senses: things people could see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. You might expect to see things on the list such as pumpkin pie, turkey and dressing, pizza, and fine wine. I didn’t expect that people would list things like “my husband’s aftershave” or “baby powder after I give my grandchild a bath.” We asked people to list these so we could put them in the bulletin, and read them at the thanksgiving service. It was a long and delightful list.
As I look out my window this morning, I am thankful for the beautiful colors of creation – especially as they appear at sunrise. I am thankful for plants and flowers that beautify the earth. I am thankful for friends and family, for my wife, and home, and photography gear, and opportunities to enjoy all these blessings of life. I am thankful for my church family, for the staff team that God has brought together, and for opportunities I have to serve here, as well as throughout the United States, and even around the world.
I am thankful to God for these things. In fact, I have even replaced the comment, “I’m blessed” (which I am, by the way – richly!), by saying, “I’m thankful,” or “I’m grateful.” For we are all blessed to one degree or another. That is true no matter how many or few things we can list for which we are thankful. Whether or not we have family around the table today, or we can list many many items of worldly goods, or whether we are celebrating Thanksgiving in Hospice Care or a rehab center there is something for which we can all be thankful.
The great equalizer in all this is the goodness of God. That is unchanging. His goodness and steadfast love endures forever. He never wavers in his kindness, mercy, grace, and love for us. Seen in Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and reign, God’s goodness is something for which we can all give thanks. It is reason enough to thank him today and every day.
Martin Luther’s expression of this truth has to do with recognizing God’s “fatherly divine goodness and mercy” as the motive and source of all good things we have on this earth. For all of God’s provisions it is our duty to “thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true!”