Category Archives: Thanksgiving

The Dilemma of Thanksgiving


Penned by my brother…

I simply adore these Thanksgiving days
And the mornings of silence, I remember
The peaceful quiet of everything being closed
As we gracefully end November

The warmth, the comfort of family and friends
That we don’t see much anymore
The feast, the football, the fellowship
Is also an aura, I adore

But what really seems to bother me
In these days of superficial living
Is how we only designate one single day
As a time to give God “Thanksgiving”

Every day we should always give thanks
But unfortunately it is our way
To really not even be thankful to God
Even on Thanksgiving Day

His point is clear.  We should be giving thanks to our great God more than once, or twice, or even 52 times a year.  It should be a daily routine for us.  An author in my denomination recently wrote a book titled “364 Days of Thanksgiving.”  I do recommend this book or any devotional book that encourages you to either read a devotional thought on a daily basis or lead you to think about God’s grace in your daily life.

Here is a link to Pastor Andrew Schroer’s book: 364 Days of Thanksgiving

Here is a link to my brother’s book: The Journey Continues

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Isaiah 1:18


This was the scene looking into my backyard on Thanksgiving morning:

 

IMG_9017.JPG

Remarkable –  Though we are laden with guilt, we are not condemned to everlasting damnation, but God gives and imputes to us perfect righteousness. 

The meaning of justification is abundantly clear:
for God declares the ungodly, 
the guilty, 
to be innocent, 
clean, 
holy, 
and righteous in His sight.  

Thanksgiving is Worship!


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.

  1. “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.
  2. “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.
  3. “My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness” by Keith Getty

 

Thank God from A to Z


Thank God from A to Z

The following is a responsive thanksgiving prayer that children can relate to.

P: For apples, aardvarks and Alaska
C: We thank you, Ancient of Days

 P: For blueberries, blue skies and birds of every color
C: We thank you, Beautiful Savior
P: For cranberries, cousins and cats
C: We thank you, chief capstone

P: For dads, dark chocolate and the book of Deuteronomy
C: We thank you, deliverer

P: For elephants, Europe and eggs
C: We thank you, Everlasting God

P: For figs, Fridays and fruits of all kinds,
C: We thank you, Firstborn over all Creation

P: For grapes, gorillas and the great lakes,
C: We thank you, Good Shepherd

P: For hollies, hummingbirds and the Holy Spirit,
C: We thank you, High Priest

P: For ice cream, igloos and iguanas
C: We thank you, Immanuel

P: For juice, jellies and jams
C: We thank you, Jesus

P: For kangaroos, kites and Kansas
C: We thank you, King of Kings

P: For love, laughter and light
C: We thank you, Lord of Lords

P: For mice, Montana and me
C: We thank you, Morning Star

P: For sweet little nothings, noses and nebulas
C: We thank you, New Covenant

P: For ostriches, ospreys and owls
C: We thank you, Our Great God

P: For the color purple, police, and people
C: We thank you, Prince of Peace

P: For, quiet streams, quick foxes and quiescent worship
C: We thank you, Jesus

P: For rest, reassurance and relaxation
C: We thank you, Righteous One

P: For the seasons, strawberries and symphonies,
C: We thank you, Savior

P: For toddlers, tea and turkeys,
C: We thank you, True Vine

P: For Uganda, unction and the universe,
C: We thank you, Jesus

P: For violets, violas and vacations,
C: We thank you, Jesus

P: For wallabies, walruses and wolves
C: We thank you, Jesus

P: For xylophones, x-rays and the letter X
C: We thank you, Jesus

P: For yaks, yogurt, and you
C: We thank you, Jesus

P: For zebras, zoos and zeniths
C: We thank you, Jesus

A blessed Thanksgiving to all.

A Responsive Reading for a Thanksgiving Worship Service


A Responsive Reading for a Thanksgiving Worship Service

Pastor:              Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – PHILIPPIANS 4:6
All:                   I will GIVE THANKS to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. – PSALM 17:7

Lay Leader:       We are also thankful today because God is our strength and shield.
All:                   The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.   My heart leaps for joy and I will GIVE THANKS TO HIM in song. – PSALM 28:7
Pastor:              Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful. – COLOSSIANS 3:15

Lay Leader:       Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. – COLOSSIANS 3:16
Pastor:              And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – COLOSSIANS 3:17
Lay Leader:       Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18
All:                   Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – HEBREWS 13:15-16

Pastor:              All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures.  They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! – REVELATION 7:11-12a
Lay Leader:       Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.   Amen!” – REVELATION 7:12b
All: THANKS BE TO GOD!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 CORINTHIANS 15:57

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

A responsive reading based on the Psalm passage “Give thanks to the Lord for He is Good”


Give thanks to the Lord for He is Good

P:  Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them; that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones.  (Ps 106:4,5a)

C:  O Give thanks to the LORD, for He is Good and His steadfast love endures forever.  (Ps 106:1)

 

P: for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.  (Ps 107:9)

C:  O Give thanks to the LORD, for He is Good and His steadfast love endures forever.  (Ps 107:1)

 

P:  O Give thanks to the LORD, for He is Good and His steadfast love endures forever.  (Ps 118:1)

P:  Let Israel say:  (Ps 118:2a)

C:  His love endures forever.  (Ps 118:2b)

P:  Let the house of Aaron say:  (Ps 118: 3a)

C:  His love endures forever.  (Ps 118:3b)

P:  Let those who fear the LORD say:  (Ps 118:4a)

C:  His love endures forever.  (Ps 118:4b)

 

P:  Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.  (Ps 136:1a)

C:  His love endures forever.  (Ps 136:1b)

P:  Give thanks to the God of Gods.  (Ps 136:2a)

C:  His love endures forever.  (Ps 136:2b)

P:  Give thanks to the Lord of Lords  (Ps 136:3a)

C:  His love endures forever.  (Ps 136:3b)

P:  Give thanks to the God of Heaven  (Ps 136:26a)

C:  His love endures forever.  (Ps 136:22b)

 

You might also consider responding with a song like “Forever” by Chris Tomlin.

Thanksgiving Reponsive Reading


Thanksgiving Reponsive Reading (from WELS.net):

 

(Psalms 100 & 150)

 

M:  Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

C:  Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

 

M:  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

C:  Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

 

M:  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

C:  Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet; praise him with the harp and lyre.

 

M:  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.

C:  Praise him with tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flute.

 

M:  Give thanks to him and praise his name.

C:  Praise him with the clash of symbols; praise him with resounding cymbals.

 

M:  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.  His faithfulness continues through all generations.

C:  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

A Thanksgiving Litany


A Thanksgiving Litany

 

Instructions: The following is a responsive reading for a Thanksgiving service which starts out being thankful for the ‘big picture items’ but  progresses down into some close and personal items that we need to be thankful (to God) for.  I wrote this for use at our local church, but it could easily be modified to your local needs.  The congregational responses are all based on scripture.

 

Pastor:  God, today we are thankful, most of all, for YOU.  Without you, we cannot even breathe.  You provide rhythm to our hearts and lives.  You are our protector, our guide, our strength, our creator and our redeemer.  We are thankful for your very presence at this time.

All: We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near.  (Ps 75:1)

 

Pastor: God, you created this wonderful terrestrial ball known as the planet Earth and the entire galaxy that surrounds it.  You are the provider and the sustainer of all life, for all time and in all continuums.

Men: I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. (Ps 9:1)

Women: All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.  (Ps 66:4)

 

Pastor: We are thankful for this great Nation – the United States of America.  We are thankful for our liberties, for our freedoms; and especially the ability to worship You as guided by your very WORD without being hindered by our government or other adversaries.

All: May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.  (Ps 67:4)

 

Pastor: We are thankful for the leadership of this great Country.  Continue to guide our leaders and keep us safe.

All: Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.  (Ps 4:6b)

 

Pastor: We are thankful for the state of CT, for the wonderful changing of the seasons, and for the bountiful harvests and plentiful jobs.

Men: You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.  (Ps 65: 9)

Women: You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.  (Ps 65:11)

 

Pastor: We are thankful for community services; for community shelters, food banks, nursing homes, police and fire protection, churches, schools, hospitals and libraries.

All: You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.  (Ps 68:35)

 

Pastor: We are thankful for our local church and our governing Synod.  Keep us true and steadfast to your Word.

All: Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under his care.  (Ps 95:6)

 

Pastor: We are thankful for all who serve in our church, our Pastor, the secretary, the Church Council, the Altar Guild, the Sunday School teachers, the Ushers, those who clean and maintain the property, those who provide music for our worship services, those who pray, those who need our prayers and all those who attend this church.

All: I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.  (Ps 111:1)

 

Pastor: We are thankful for each other, for our families and for our homes.

All:  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.  (Ps 30:12b)

 

Pastor: We are thankful for the many blessings which you have provided for each one of us; food, shelter, clothing, employment , health and an education.

Men: I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8)

Women: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.  (Ps 23:1)

 

All: I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.  (Ps 7:17)

 

 

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society