Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things hath done, in whom His world rejoices;
who, from our mother’s arms, hath blest us on our way
with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
from “Now Thank We All Our God,” Martin Rinkart, 1636next >
Enter his gates with thanks; enter his courtyards with praise! Thank him! Bless his name!
Because the Lord is good, his loyal love lasts forever; his faithfulness lasts generation after generation.
Psalm 100:4-5next >
God’s “courts” are so much more vast than what we most typically think of when we hear the words “enter his gates” and “enter his courtyard.” We tend to think of church. And, truthfully, this is okay! Imagine, just one Sunday morning, walking into your sanctuary or your youth group room with a smile, with a posture of enthusiasm. Maybe worth a try this season? This time of Thanksgiving, of holiday spirit?
The words of this psalm are less of a gentle invitation and more of a strong push. “Enter the gates with thanks. Enter with praise. Thank God! Bless God.” Come on already!
Giving thanks, gratitude, and appreciation to God (to anyone for that matter) is a responsibility. It’s something we need to do — not because of what we need or receive — but simply because… God is what we need and receive. We give thanks because it is what completes the relationship. We enter with a shout because a shout makes an impact. Its power and volume shatter the everyday-ness and reminds those nearby that there is something, someone, significant in their midst.
Gina Yeager-Buckleynext >
God, you are the BEST! And I am blessed. I am blessed to have this day. I am blessed to have the ability to talk with you and listen for you. O, God, how can I bless you? How do I live in a way that reflects your everlasting love? How do I remember this my whole life long? I remember by shouting today, God. I shout in my heart. I shout in my mind. I shout by the way I live my life. Amen.next >
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
and keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills in this world and the next.
from “Now Thank We All Our God,” Martin Rinkart, 1636
Gina Yeager-Buckley serves as the national Associate for Ministries with Youth for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Reflections on the Way: Lord I Want to Be a Christian - This Is My Father’s World