Psalm 105:1 - Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon His Name; make known His deeds among the peoples!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving -- that special time of year when most of us fight crowds, high gas prices, and crowded airport security lines, so we might come together with family and friends for a few days of relaxation, reunion, and renewal.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving -- a time for families and friends to roll themselves up to tables which are groaning under the weight of every culinary delicacy our taste buds could imagine.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving -- the day when many will plot their assault upon the Black Friday bargains which are too good to pass up. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so we've replaced the batteries in the TV's remote control and memorized the channel numbers and kickoff times of every bowl game being played.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I've listed some of the things many folks will do.
Now I have one more suggestion. I think we ought to give thanks. You see, none of the activities I've listed do that -- offer thanks to the Lord. A few years ago, I heard about one family which always chose one of their membership to say a special prayer before the family ate their Thanksgiving dinner. One year the lot had fallen to six-year-old Rosalyn.
She began, appropriately enough, by thanking mother for preparing the turkey and dad for his job which gave them the money to buy the turkey. The family sat patiently as she thanked the clerk for selling the turkey and the store for stocking the turkey. She thanked the trucker who had brought her turkey to the store. She thanked the farmer who had raised the bird, as well as the feed store which had made it so the turkey could be plump. Then at the end of the lengthy litany, she solemnly asked, "Have I forgotten anyone?"
Her impatient eight-year-old brother, grunted, "You've forgotten God."
With an icy gaze, Rosalyn looked at her brother and announced, "I was just going to get to Him."
And that's the problem. When it comes to Thanksgiving Day, most people don't start their day with God, they just, kind of get around to Him. And that's sad. We shouldn't spend more time preparing stuffing for a dead bird than we actually spend thanking the Lord.
All of this takes me to the point of this devotion. Why not start out thanking the Lord ... in church.
Now I know, I know, to that idea some of you would think that going to worship is a major speed bump to getting everything done which needs to get done if a proper Thanksgiving is to be celebrated.
Or, are you among those who believe a pastor's Thanksgiving Day sermon should, like the afternoon's turkey, be equipped with a pop-up timer to let him know when he's done? We know we shouldn't feel that way, but some of us do. Well, folks, that bird is going to be done when it gets done -- and so is the sermon.
With the right attitude you can enjoy both. And God will be thanked first, not last.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive us for those times when we want more of the world and less of You. This year let us begin by thanking You and not just getting around to it. In the Name of Jesus who is our greatest cause for thanks, we pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"