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Thanksgiving is CHURCH

David Gentiles

Friday 28th - THANKSGIVING is CHURCH

Psalm 111:1 - I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

 It’s Black Friday and for most of America, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas has begun!  At least the shopping for Christmas… It is amazing how in just a few years stores are now opening on Thanksgiving to provide the rush of shoppers an opportunity to grab their gifts before the day is finished!  Some families have fun traditions of staying up late or waking early to beat the crowds and knock out their entire gift list in one day.  I personally have refrained from that new tradition. I think all of the carb loading has something do with that!

 At any rate, whether you’re sleeping in or shopping hard, the majority of our hearts have moved on from Thanksgiving to Christmas overnight. 

 I wonder though if we might for one more day consider all that God is doing and prepare our hearts for Sunday morning as we gather together to give thanks as a body for the faithfulness of God.

 Over and over again the Psalms call us as a family of God to give thanks in the corporate setting.  Consider these verses:

 

I will tell of your name to my bro­thers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you. 22:22

I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you. 35:18

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. 40:9-10

 I love most those last two verses from chapter 40.  In essence the psalmist exclaims: “God has been so faithful to me! I can’t hold it in; I have to express my heart to him with my family!”

 We have the most powerful opportunity coming in two days to recount together the blessing of God in our lives.  How beautiful the sounds of thousands of voices lifted to God in song and prayer.  There is something unique that happens in us when we lift our voices in worship together. I believe with all my heart that God grafts our hearts to be one when we worship in His presence.  I believe that when we seek His face collectively, He is found.  I believe that when we humble ourselves before almighty God He draws near to us in a special way. 

 If God has already shown us that when we’re gathered, he will speak, encourage, convict, heal, comfort, draw near, give clarity, strengthen hearts, save the lost, win the wayward, and enlighten the dark paths before us, let’s then in response …  Come into his presence with singing and his courts with praise … Let’s give thanks to him and bless his name! WE ARE HIS … HE HAS MADE US!” Psalm 100.

 With those verses in mind, I am looking forward to meeting God with you my church family this weekend. My prayer for each one of us is that we will be ready to not withhold anything, but pour forth the praises of Almighty God.  He is worthy of our thanksgiving.  He is worthy of our songs.  He is worthy of our prayers.  He is Worthy!