Reading: Psalm 50: 1-8 & 22-23
God’s voice booms out in this passage. It opens with, “The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks”. One can hear the thunder in God’s voice. Rightly so, God sounds like an angry parent. God summons the people Israel to hear what needs to be said. God reminds them of their covenant and that God is their judge. In the verses not read from the Psalm, God lays out both why they should offer just thank offerings and also a list of the sins they are committing. As we pick up in verse 22, God reminds ‘you who forget God’ the consequences and benefits of following God faithfully.
We live in a time where blood sacrifices of animals arr no longer made nor are they necessary. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross covers all of our sins. Yet God still desires our sacrifices. In our passage God calls for thank offerings. These are what God desires of us as well. A thank offering expresses our gratitude to God for all we have been blessed with. This can run the gamut from our tithe that we lay on the altar to the time we give to mentor one new to the faith. It can be the time we give to teach a class and it can be the time we set aside each day to specifically and gratefully thank God for the specific blessings of each day.
This idea goes beyond simply saying ‘Thank You’ to God for the good things in our life. Our thanksgiving also keeps us humble by recognizing God’s hand in all of our blessings. It takes the focus off of us and how good we are. We are also made more aware of God’s vast love, mercy, grace, … and this lessens the load that we feel we have to carry. It relieves us of some of our fears and anxieties as we come to trust more in God’s provision, power, and presence in our lives. We come to know God is in control.
Today may we take some time to thank God for the many ways we are blessed by and experience the divine hand at work in our lives. May we express our gratitude through our selfless offering of our time, gifts, talents, resources, service, and witness. And may we welcome the presence and peace of God into our lives.