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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
   Worship the Lord with gladness;
   come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord is God.
   It is he that made us, and we are his;
   we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
   and his courts with praise.
   Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the Lord is good;
   his steadfast love endures forever,
   and his faithfulness to all generations. (NRSV)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I have such fond memories of that long weekend growing up. Our family has always hosted the dinner, and I love having the warm company of my family together all day with the turkey cooking. It is a tradition to go around the table and say what we are thankful for, with my grandfather ending by saying grace. I plan to say this psalm tomorrow when it is my turn to speak. If no meal were to happen, if no family were to be able to come together, if travel plans were to be interrupted, I would remember that it is Christ who I give thanks to first because he is the reason for all of those other blessings in my life.

My grandmother remarked to me a few years back that no stores used to be open on Thanksgiving ever, now it seems everything is open—if anything, encouraging consumers to leave one another for another “deal.” I cannot help but feel saddened by another holiday that continues to become more and more commercial. So what can I do? I start with saying thanks: “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.” As a child of God, I can continue to do my part to make sure that my favorite holiday remains Christ-centered and that on this important day of thanksgiving, I continue to give my thanks first to God who allowed me to be where I am on this day.

Lord, so many of the blessings you have bestowed upon me many times go unnoticed. I pray that on this holiday of giving thanks, help me and so many others remember where we first give thanks. You alone are enough, always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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