Thanksgiving

Psalm 63:5-9 (NRSV)

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
    and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

By John Grimm

We are ready!  We have our minds set on turkey and fixings.  We are looking forward to the pie—whether it be pumpkin, pecan, apple, or mincemeat!  We are glad it is time to feast. 

Why are we ready to feast?  God has been providing for us!  We are satisfied by God in our waking—whatever time we are awake.  For when we awaken in the middle of the night and can not get back to sleep, it is prime time to concentrate on the Lord.  This time is when we have a rich feast, and our mouths are full of praise.

I believe the hymn title is: “Count Your Blessings.”  God shelters us, and that’s a blessing we can count multiple times!  We cling to God by noticing how much the Lord does for us.  There is nothing like knowing God’s right hand upholds us!

Lord God, thank you satisfying our souls.  Lying in bed, thinking of you and your work in our lives brings joy to us.  As we know you, may our friends and family notice our contentment in you.  May we have more reasons to be thankful as friends and family find satisfaction in you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray for joy for our friends and family this Thanksgiving.  Amen.

Psalm 23: Eternal Feast

By Chuck Griffin
LifeTalk Editor

Our devotionals for Wednesday, Thursday and today are all from the 23rd Psalm, “A Psalm of David,” considered in small meditative bites.

Verse 5
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.

Remember a couple of days ago, when we meditated on contentment? The shepherd who cares for our needs will also fulfill our holy wants. There is great reward in following him!

It does not matter if the world sneers at the shepherd’s flock. The worldly people, even their leaders, will have to watch in envy as the sheep receive far more than the world could ever offer.

The humble, the poor in spirit, the ones counted as irrelevant—these people will prove to be the ultimate insiders. The contentment of the sheep will turn to deep satisfaction and even irrepressible joy.

The one to whom all honor and glory must be given will honor us as his own. We hear it in the language of feasting and anointing, the latter a practice we have largely lost. The point is, there will be a public celebration of those who stood with the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and we likely will be shocked at who are and are not among the honored.

And if God wants to pour oil over our heads, rejoice! Feasting and anointing are just the first of many eternal blessings to follow.

Verse 6
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Now and forever. All that we’ve been promised as we’ve heard the 23rd Psalm these past few days lasts for now and forever.

In the “now,” we may not always feel we’re experiencing in full what is promised. We have to remember that the journey for the sheep can be a long one.

The world is a broken place. That’s why the shepherd needs his rod and staff. There are spiritual battles to be fought and rescues to be launched.

But we do have God’s goodness and unfailing love trailing us like a couple of sheepdogs, encouraging and guiding us. That’s enough for now.

And as astonishing as it is, we know where we are headed! Who ever heard of stinky sheep being allowed in the grand mansion of the master? The God we worship thinks it’s a good idea, though. He is determined to make us more than the wandering sinners we are.

The shepherd king gathers us, disciplines us and cleans us up, making us fit to be in the presence of royalty, forever.

Thank you, Lord, thank you. Thank you for the Great Shepherd who makes these promises possible. Thank you for what we do not deserve. Amen.