November 22

Psalm 122

“Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together. To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.” vss.3-4

The ancient Israelites were convinced that God was responsible for their existence as a nation and enshrined regular festivals of thanksgiving in their law codes. And the people were grateful! Ordinary folks recognized their dependence upon a benevolent God for survival and sustenance, and looked forward to their annual pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem with their thanksgiving gifts and sacrifices. We still do thanksgiving, even in our largely secular nation, and occasionally some will take time to give thanks to God. Mostly though it’s a holiday that focuses on family, feasting, and football, and God is at best an afterthought. We’ve found out that it’s possible to give thanks and gather together without even considering that there could be a place for God in the picture. For the most part we attribute our material well-being to our own hard work and the free enterprise system and maybe a dash of good fortunee. Bit by bit God has become an afterthought for most. But not for all! Some of us, like the psalmist, recognize that all we have and are is a gift from God and are bound to give thanks to the Lord, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year.

Thought for the Day: What does Thanksgiving mean for my family?

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