Reflections on thankfulness – Day 3 – Thank God as an act of worship
Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures for ever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
This Psalm is often used as a way of starting a church service, and its title includes the words: A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Thanks can often be a way of shifting gear, of looking beyond our immediate circumstances and taking notice of what God is doing.
In the Bible, the book of Leviticus details a whole range of offerings the people were to bring, including the thanks offering. In Hebrew it’s called a ‘towdah korban’. The word ‘korban’ is used about all the offerings or sacrifices, and literally means to draw close or come near. It suggests that the offerings God requested were a way of the people coming close to him. As they brought their offerings to the Tent of Meeting, the place where God’s presence rested, they came close to God. As we consider bringing thanks as part of our worship, it’s a way of us coming close to God. No wonder it changes us!
Some Jewish commentaries suggest that of all the offerings, the thanks offering is the only one we will continue to do in heaven. It’s sometimes described as a way of recognising miracles in our lives. I’ve often wondered about the burning bush, and if part of the miracle was Moses noticing it and coming near to find out more. Rabbi Eric Linder writes: “The thanksgiving offering is a ritual which jolts us out of the [failing] of perceptual blindness, so that we see the burning bushes of our daily lives and recognise them for what we are.”
Share this with your family
Let’s create a poster with pictures and words describing daily ‘miracles’ in our lives. Then we’ll spend a few minutes thanking God for each thing. We could add to our poster over two or three days or weeks and display it somewhere we can all see it so it continues to inspire our thankfulness.
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