“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.”
Before Halloween is over, our culture seems to be skipping Thanksgiving and jumping to Christmas carols. We are exhausted from the polarization of politics and we face going to the poles tomorrow amidst the defaming of the “other” and with a loss of confidence in the validity of the results. A deep cynicism seems to have settled like a fog that is refusing to melt away. Oh yes, we now realize we are going into a recession to prevent a depression. Us elders remember the tales our parents told us about the Great Depression. I will not mention our own personal challenges we are living. Sounds to me a lot like the first Thanksgiving. I know we discuss the politics of history but we do know new people to the Americas fled countries where they did not feel welcome to face a new life that resulted in the death of many. How do we survive those dismal times when life is so hard? One solution is to call a time out for Thanksgiving, go to the house of worship for our faith, and look at the blessings amidst the trials.
One of the lessons of Lamaz training for childbirth was that the mind can only focus on one thing at once so being able to focus on a good memory or a favorite Bible verse and then breath and relax, will shorten the “labor” and help needed. I find that to be true spiritually. I cannot focus on praise and grumbling at the same time. Sometimes it is a battle as my grump keeps creeping into my mind but if I can stay focused on praise, my mood will lift.
The author of Psalm 100 wrote what is called the Psalm of Praise and shares where he put his thoughts as he entered the Temple. He starts with the goodness of God who is creator and reminds himself that we are God’s sheep. Perhaps you would prefer a different animal but sheep bring up the image of helplessness and dependency. Then he remembers that God’s love is eternal. It is not like human love that can change with our moods, or can shift if someone better comes along. God is committed to his people. And thirdly God is faithful through the generations. As I age I find it comforting that God is keeping his eye on my children and grandchildren, not to mention friends.
Today let us think of words that start with T….. that either describes love or the things we love and then spend a moment thanking God for your list. Here is a clip of Psalm 100 put to music. Enjoy and blessings!