Friday, November 29, 2013

The Vision (11.29.13): Thanksgiving

Emily Dickenson’s poem “Thanksgiving Day” begins with this stanza:

                                         One day is there of the series
                                                       Termed Thanksgiving day,
                                          Celebrated part at table,
                                                       Part in memory.
The Psalms of the Old Testament were both the hymn book and the prayer book of the Old Testament church.  There are various genres or types of psalms in this collection of 150 songs.  There are what scholars call “psalms of remembrance” in which the inspired author provides a celebratory record of God’s past deeds.  Psalm 136 is an example of this with its constant refrain, “for his mercy endureth for ever.”
There are also “psalms of thanksgiving” in which the author recalls a time of struggle or difficulty in which the Lord graciously interceded to provide relief and deliverance.  An example is Psalm 30 which begins, “I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me” (v. 1).  It concludes, “O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”

There are also “psalms of confidence” in which the inspired writer expresses a quiet confidence in God.  The premier example is Psalm 23 which begins, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

In this season of Thanksgiving, celebrated “part in memory,” can we do as the psalms teach and remember God’s goodness, give thanks for his deliverance, and express our quiet trust and confidence in him?
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle 

No comments: