Reason for Thanksgiving

Turkey, cranberries, dinner rolls, butter, mash potatoes, gravy, green beans, and salad.  (Breathe)  Dinner plates, napkins, silverware, glasses and a centerpiece.  THANKSGIVING!  I love this holiday, food – family – fun and football. A set time to pause, consider and ponder what we are thankful for.

Thanksgiving.  There are seasons that may be difficult to pull forward on the shelf of our life, something – anything to be thankful for. We may have lost a job or a loved one.  Or our bank account matches our emotional bucket of strength, empty.  Yet there IS something to be thankful for. You have a reason for thanksgiving.  The great Psalm of thanks opens with,  “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good…” (Psalm 136)  That alone is enough.

“Give thanks to the LORD for He is good. His love endures forever…”  The author found it needful to repeat ‘His love endures forever’ 26 times  throughout the rest of the Psalm.  This Hebrew word love is ‘hesed’ (heh-said).  It is used 248 times in the Old Testament.  Let’s take a look at each one (just kidding).   We know it biblically as mercy, goodness, loyalty and steadfast love,  even grace.  What a pivotal word, pivotal attribute.  Scholars find it extremely difficult to translate into English, because there really is not a precise equivalent word(s). In 1535 Myles Coverdale published the first complete modern English translation, in it he often used  ‘lovingkindness’ in place of hesed for the very first time.

This merciful (undeserved) love is enveloped in personal involvement and commitment to relationship.  God.  Basically it IS relationship.   With this, the Psalms poetically describe His lovingkindness is precious (36:7)  marvelous (17:7)undeserving (103) abounding (86:5)reviving (119:159)  satisfying (90:14) and everlasting (103:17).  God is the God of great attributes and God cannot change – He will ALWAYS be a God of love filled with mercy.  (Thankful yet?)

King David’s well known and beloved Psalm 23 (verse 6) “Surely goodness and MERCY will follow me all the days of my life.” Mercy – hesed.  This ‘follow’ is not a mere tag along behind, but pursuit.  David knows the concept of pursuit.  This Psalm is known to be written at the end of David’s life,  he once the shepherd, has now and is being Shepherded.  God’s unending – steadfast love full of mercy pursued David. That same mercy,  that same goodness pursues US!  He is unrelenting.  The divine love of God  is steady – sure – persistent and FULL of refusal to let go.  Aren’t you glad He does not let go!   Reason for thanksgiving indeed!  “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  His love endures forever.”

As we share around the table amongst the laughter and love, the blessings of health and family,  may we  ‘give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting!’ 

Thanksgiving.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)

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