Here in Cor Unum Abbey, we continue to give thanks each day during our morning devotional hours. This is a time-honored Cor Unum practice with both a story and a weight of proof behind it. I’ll share that story again tomorrow. I believe it is worth the telling, but for today, consider the second reference to thanksgiving in Psalm 50. Verse 23 says …
“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”(NASB)
Through the practice of Lectio Divina we have learned to read relationally, to ask questions, to read prayerfully. We certainly could say of this verse, “Lord, I believe this promise, gladly, and I will set out to order my ways according to Your Word. Keep me to that path, my Beloved.” We might say, “If I order my steps as I should, if I forsake sin and learn to humble myself in Your sight and develop a grateful heart, will you show your salvation to those around me?”
In giving thanks we could say, “For all that I haven’t done or done right, I thank You with all my heart that You lead on, that You are working in and around me, and that Your purposes do not fail.”
We have a practice of thanksgiving here in Cor Unum that has worked wonders for us, simply because it keeps us faithful in the thing that we wish to do. Most of us use a strand of beads each day with about forty or fifty of them on it, and we give thanks every day for one thing per bead. My strand was made by one of my daughters at camp, and it is precious to me. Brightly colored wooden beads on a long shoelace. Nothing mystical about it, but it has taken me into the courts of the Lord thousands of times.
May I encourage you once more to do more than scroll through the Thanksgiving messages on facebook? Some are uplifting, some clever, but none of them came from your heart. It isn’t enough for us to say to the Lord, “That touched my soul.” Ours is to touch His heart, and those who are parents know what it is when a child turns back to say, “Thank you.” We are His children and the sheep of His pasture, and we will teach our souls to be grateful, continually grateful, grateful beyond grief, depression, and loss. Here and now, no bulls or goats, ours is the sacrifice that the Lord looks to see and listens to hear, the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth”
Jennie A. Brownscombe, 1914, public domain, on Wikipedia