Thanksgiving is Worship!
“We cannot give God anything but praise and thanks, for everything else we receive from Him, be it grace, words, works, Gospel, faith, and all things. Moreover, praising and thanking is also the one proper, Christian form of worshiping God.” – Martin Luther
“There is no duty more urgent than giving thanks.” – Ambrose of Milan, A.D. 338-397
The purpose of thanksgiving is not so much to focus on the gift as it is to honor the Giver, and to acknowledge one’s dependence on Him as the source of all good things.
Psalm 100 is priceless for a Thanksgiving service. Here it is in a responsive format:
M: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
C: Worship the Lord with gladness;
M: Come before him with joyful songs.
C: Know that the Lord is God.
M: It is he who made us, and we are his;
C: We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
M: Enter his gates with thanksgiving
C: and his courts with praise!
M: Give thanks to him and praise his name.
C: For the Lord is good;
M: His steadfast love endures forever,
C: His faithfulness continues through all generations. – Ps 100
As far as contemporary song choices for Thanksgiving – alas, the world is your oyster. There are thousands upon thousands of contemporary songs to choose from for Thanksgiving because this genre of music tends to emphasize praise and thanks while hymns tend to emphasize teaching, scripture and doctrine. So I will only mention a few.
- “Give Thanks” by Henri Smith is probably not considered contemporary any longer, but if all you do right now is hymns, then this song will be earth shaking, so give it a try.
- “Forever” by Chris Tomlin: This is a great adaptation of Psalm 136 and also has pieces of 1 Chro 16:23, Ps 62:11, Ps 108:3-5, 1 Cor 10:13, Ps 24:8 and 2 Chro 13:12.
- “My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness” by Keith Getty