Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Reading:                                                                           Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
  Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations

I am glad that we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October here in Canada. I cannot imagine waiting until late November to celebrate this holiday as Americans do. It puts Thanksgiving too close to Christmas, and it delays it too long after the harvest has been gathered. By late November, harvest time is just a distant memory, and much of the country is already in winter's icy grip. Thanksgiving is after all a harvest festival, signalling our thankfulness to God for the bounty of the earth.

When you grow up on a prairie farm, as I did, you appreciate the traditional aspects of Thanksgiving all the more. You are reminded each day that the food on your table does not simply come from a store. You are actively engaged in producing the nourishment that sustains your own life.

As a youngster I sat down to many a Thanksgiving feast, and almost all the food found on that groaning table was home-grown. I watched those vegetables growing in our garden in the hot summer sun. I even pulled the weeds from around those peas. And those mashed potatoes, I helped my mother hill those tubers in the spring and then dug them up after the frost hit in the fall.

My brother loved growing pumpkins, and mom would turn his favourite into the best pumpkin pie east of the Rockies. And how can you eat pumpkin pie without a mound of whipped cream on top? Well let me tell you, it tastes even better, when just that morning you milked the cows that produced that sweet rich cream. Oh, and that huge turkey—we'll miss that pompous strutting gobbler out by the hen house. But I'm sure we'll get over it, somehow. For now, let's just dig in.

Let's all dig in, and give thanks to the God, who made all this possible. This sumptuous feast has been brought to you by Him. Now that's Thanksgiving!

The great God in heaven has been kind to us. He has answered our prayers. He brought the warmth of spring and the rain of heaven. He caused his face to shine upon us. The rich earth responded to his touch. It brought forth its bounty, and now around this table we have gathered together as a family to celebrate God's great goodness to us.

As the psalmist declares, "It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture." So today with joy-filled hearts we enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. We give thanks to him and praise his name.

Response: Heavenly Father, thank you for all your kindness. You have been so good to us! Help us to maintain an attitude of gratitude all year long and not only on Thanksgiving Day. Amen.

 Your Turn: What blessings from God's hand are you most grateful for?


Peter Black said...

Thanks David. I love it! The 100th . . . truly one of my favourite Psalms. Although I wasn't raised on a farm my spirit danced along with your reflections, for I did have some exposure to many of the elements at points in my life, and therefore I could relate. Beautiful pics, too (the cathedral-like tree canopy, especially). ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

I loved your word pictures, David, of pulling those weeds around the peas, and the turkey strutting in the yard. For us it was most often capons and my Mom makes excellent pumpkin pie too. You might need to get a copy of my book and read more. ;) Your photos are lovely.

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Appreciating the beautiful colours of fall and the food we grow and what is provided to us.

Glynis said...

What a delicious post. I love the gratitude that shouts from your words. We need to do this more often - give thanks for what we have before us. Good one, David, and like Peter said, beautiful photos!

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