"We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks; your name is near. People tell you of your wonderful deeds." (Psalm 75:1)
The Psalmist wants to tell of God's wonderful deeds. He wants to give thanks because he trusts that God is abiding with him and with his people: "your name is near." Sometimes the Psalms are full of lament, of pain and anguish, of a heart crying out to God with a sense of being forgotten or abandoned by the Almighty. Yet over and over again, when the writer meditates on God's "wonderful deeds" in the past, he becomes aware of God's nearness in the present, and this leads to gratitude and praise.
Our national holiday of Thanksgiving is a marvelous time to stop and reflect on God's "nearness" to you; God's providential care for you; God's "wonderful deeds" on your behalf, especially in the sending of his Son to the cross and his Spirit to your heart. God is at work in the world right now continuing his wonderful deeds of salvation. When we really get in touch with God's love for us, we cannot help but be flooded with a joyful gratitude. Gratitude always expresses itself with a desire to "give back" - to give back thanks and praise to God and to give a blessing to others. Someone has defined gratitude as "giving away goodness."
I am so grateful to God! I am grateful for God's presence in my life and in the world; I am grateful for his Son and for the Holy Spirit; I am grateful for two amazing children; I am grateful for the gift of loving family and friends; I am grateful for the many blessings of living in a great place such as Beaumont; I am grateful for the incredible depth and love of a Christian community such as Trinity; I am grateful for the problems and pain that have challenged me to grow and mature; I am grateful for the mystery of grace and forgiveness; I am grateful for the hope that we have in Christ.
Make your own list this Thanksgiving. Take time to share with one another what you are grateful for in your life. Your calling as a disciple of Jesus includes cultivating the attitude of gratitude, because central to the life of faith is the calling to live in thanks and praise to God, to bear witness to the nearness of God, and to be among the people who tell of God's wonderful deeds!
See you Sunday!
Trinity United Methodist Church
3430 Harrison | Beaumont, TX 77706
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