Most of us will be gathered around a table with loved ones, spending our annual Thanksgiving Day in five primary activities, that are repeated year after year, home after home, throughout our land. They are:
2. Giving thanks
4. Visiting with family
5. Watching football
6. Cleaning up
Some of us do more of one than another, but that's a fairly normal Thanksgiving Day for most of us, wouldn't you say?
So, as I was reading again the familiar text of Psalm 100 a couple days ago, an idea came to me.
Psalm 100 says,
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
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 forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
So here's my idea. What if, this Thanksgiving, instead of the six common Thanksgiving Day activities I listed above, we consciously engaged in the six imperative statements found in the 100th Psalm? What if we approached this great psalm as a "to-do" list for Thanksgiving Day?
That would change our celebration to this:
1. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD
2. Serve the LORD with gladness
3. Come before his presence with singing
4. Know ye that the LORD he is God and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture
5. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise
6. Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Now, obviously, that list leaves plenty of room for creativity. There's more than one way to "Serve the LORD with gladness" and "Come before his presence with singing." We could do these things privately or corporately. And none of them would necessarily exclude the common list of Thanksgiving activities. But I bet they would make THIS Thanksgiving Day one to be remembered.