A Psalm of Thanksgiving
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100 is the biblical standard of what it means to praise and give thanks to God. We could measure all our attempts at gratitude in life by using this psalm as the norm. The recipe for thanksgiving as laid out here is clear and concise, as easy as breathing for children but for adults as easy to forget as algebra.
- Just be glad. Gladness is more than just a feeling; it’s an attitude, a posture of the heart, a way of being in the world. Gladness is mindful of the entirety of life as one giant blessing. Gladness is unlearned as we grow up and see too many things no one should be glad about. As adults we have to make some effort to be glad again. Gladness is no accident. That’s why Psalm 100 is here, to remind us of our birthright: be glad that you have a life and a world you didn’t create.
- We belong to God. The sense of being claimed by God leads effortlessly to praise. The same God who made black holes, the same God who chose the colors of the sunset claims you as a child, as a forever member of God’s family. Doesn’t that make you want to give thanks?
- Bless God. One of the spectrums of spirituality has God blessing us on one end and us blessing God on the other. Psalm 100 invites us to do some of the blessing, for when we become blessers of God we become more grateful people.
- Remember you are loved. You are loved no matter what. God’s love for you is a law of the universe; it cannot be undone or the galaxies would unravel. Let’s your belovedness lead to praise.
Gracious God, you have immeasurably blessed us beyond anything we could imagine or anything we could ever deserve. Thank you, not just for the things you do for us but for who you are. You are the source of all things good, and you are good. May we be blessers of your name forever and ever. Amen.