November 27, 2009
The Day After
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Editor
Make a glad sound to the Lord, all the earth. Give worship to the Lord with joy; come before him with a song. Be certain that the Lord is God; it is he who has made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep to whom he gives food. Come into his doors with joy, and into his house with praise; give him honour, blessing his name. For the Lord is good, and his mercy is never-ending; his faith is unchanging through all generations.
It's the day after Thanksgiving. Did you eat too much? Do I even have to ask?
Besides being a holiday when I have permission to indulge, to me thanksgiving is also a word that reminds me of how my grandfather would end his prayers: "And with thanksgiving, in Jesus' name, Amen."
I always wondered why he used a word that made me think of cornucopias and construction-paper turkeys. But now, I think I now understand. In that one word, he was saying "Thank You for giving." You, being God.
From my grandfather's example, I see that Thanksgiving is more than a one-day family gathering. It is a way of living, a daily act of expressing gratitude to our Maker who first gave to us. I love how Psalm 100 gives many directives that can help us all live in this way ...
- Make a glad sound to the Lord ... We are to make our praise known and not feel bashful about it. Now that doesn't mean we have to go to the nearest street corner and wildly applaud our Savior to the passersby. Perhaps a solo retreat is more suitable. In your silence, consider one attribute of God during each hour of the quiet that surrounds you.
- Give worship to the Lord with joy ... Many of us don't wake up "with joy." But getting the joy down in our hearts shouldn't be too hard to do, as rejoicing in the Lord is an honor to Him. Try taping a Bible verse or even just the word joy to your car's dashboard and see if your traffic scowl doesn't turn into an almost smile.
- Come before Him with a song ... Singing songs of Scripture is a great way to prepare our hearts to focus on the Lord. It's also effective in memorizing the Word and hiding it in our hearts. You'll never think of a verse in the same way again once it is set to music and committed to memory.
- Be certain that the Lord is God ... God is God, and we are not. Remembering that you are not the "general manager of the universe" can be helpful in so many situations. Write down your daily worries in a separate journal and ask God to help you trust him and know that he is sovereign.
- Come into his doors with joy, and into his house with praise ... We are always in God's presence whether we realize it or not. It's not only when we enter a house of worship or when we sing a praise song. His Kingdom is always at hand. A scriptural flip-top calendar on your desk is a good visual reminder of this.
- [Remember] for the Lord is good ... His mercy is never-ending ... His faith is unchanging ... Get ready to take the sticky note challenge: go around your home and attach a note on anything that is "bad" or "short-term" or "changing." Anytime you feel that you're placing your worship or trust elsewhere, you'll be reminded that the only One who matters and is eternal is the Father.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Even though Thanksgiving is officially over, you can continue the spirit of the celebration going forward. This weekend, honor the Lord by reaching out to others. Call or visit someone who is alone or having a hard time (for whatever reason). Then, share why you are thankful for him or her.