A MOMENT WITH PASTOR LUKE
No seriously, if you blink you might miss Thanksgiving! Already, I see houses with Christmas decorations and lights. Already, I hear Christmas music playing, and Christmas movies being advertised. Already, advertisers are trying to show me how easy it is to buy some things on my wish list before next Friday. It’s almost as if this coming Thursday there is no holiday.
I don’t think it’s a conspiracy that Thanksgiving gets overlooked as just a meal. and not a season unlike Christmas which starts to infringe upon every other season with zero regard. I think Thanksgiving gets overlooked because, quite frankly, we are bad at being thankful. We think acknowledgment and a clap is enough to show our thankfulness, which is why I believe Thanksgiving is relegated more towards a meal than a day and season. So how might we flip the script in a year that has tried its best to prevent us from giving thanks? I think Psalm 118 gives us our answer.
Psalm 118 is a psalm/prayer/song all about Thanksgiving. The psalm is rooted in the character of God, but shows us how we can celebrate Thanksgiving differently through two key points.
The Psalmist says, “from my distress I called upon the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me in a large place” (v5). How beautiful is it that the God of the universe hears our prayers when we pray and draws near to us? The psalmist then goes on to describe the tumultuous situation they were in, but yet speaks about how God helped them within their trial and became their song, strength, and ultimately salvation.
The Cornerstone of Thanksgiving
The Psalmist then turns attention to a cornerstone, and because of this cornerstone, there is delight and rejoicing. A cornerstone is the stone that holds the weight of everything else. The reason God is able to draw near to us is because of the work of Christ. This is why when we pray, we pray in the name of Jesus. Because His work has bridged the gap. He is given to us as the answer to our prayers. It is because of God’s everlasting love for us that He gave His only son. Because of the work of Jesus, we get to go through seasons differently.
It is this holiday season that we have the opportunity to reflect on how God has drawn near to us in times past, delivered us in times past, and ultimately how we will be able to be near to God for eternity because of the work of Christ. So this Thanksgiving, while around a table, or in the living room, or wherever you might find yourself on Thursday, take some time and pray a prayer of thanksgiving—reflecting on the God that is so good to us—and through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, draws near to us. Even in a year like 2020.
Happy Sabbath Church!