Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with celebration!
Come before him with shouts of joy!
3 Know that the Lord is God—
he made us; we belong to him.
We are his people,
the sheep of his own pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanks;
enter his courtyards with praise!
Thank him! Bless his name!
5 Because the Lord is good,
his loyal love lasts forever;
his faithfulness lasts generation after generation.
I’m feeling grateful. I’m sitting outside under the dogwood, breathing fresh air and watching sunlit leaves fall from the trees. In moments like these, surrounded by nature and silence, my soul praises God. When I’m caught up in moments of wonder, like sunsets or bees among the flowers in the garden, I worship God. My gratitude for all that God has done for me flows out from my soul to God in wonder and worship.
Don’t get me wrong, everyday doesn’t feel praise worthy, some days are best forgotten and yet, if I’m honest, the tough days are the days I look back on and realize that I learned the most life lessons. Only when I look back do I realize I was praying for help, but not thanking God for always being with me in the midst of the mess, and listening, guiding and loving me. I’m grateful to God for pointing out this missed opportunity for connection and reminding me not to try and go it alone.
The apostle Paul sang hymns of praise and thanks while in prison. He knew that worshiping God is the work of the Spirit in us and that knowing the love of Christ enables us to experience the fullness of God.
Entitled “A Psalm of thanks,” we usually only see Psalm 100 in the lectionary at Thanksgiving. But given its wisdom and instruction, I think we should read it weekly. Whether we’re feeling down or feeling great, we need to be praising and thanking God. When we remember who God is and God’s promises to us, then we feel gratitude for all God has done for us and we can experience the joy that only comes from God.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
How do we worship God? The psalmist says we’re to come before God and shout triumphantly with joy. Everyone on the planet is invited to praise God. We are to know that God is the God who created us, we belong to God, as God’s beloved people. Tended by God as our good shepherd, we are God’s sheep and we are to serve others with joy in the pasture of God’s world. And we’re to enter church with thanks and praise, blessing God for all God has done and will yet do, because God is good, God’s love and faithfulness for us lasts forever, generation after generation.
Are you feeling grateful? Shout out with joy to God and give your thanks and praise. Feeling down? You are loved and not alone. Give thanks to God for your salvation through Christ who strengthens you and never leaves your side. How can you find time each day to give your thanks and praise for God’s unfailing love?
Prayer: Holy and Loving God, we give you thanks and praise for your unfailing love. Remind us each day to look for those opportunities to connect with you, whether in our joys or our sorrows, to praise and thank and bless your name. Amen.