Psalm 100 is the traditional psalm that people associate with Thanksgiving. A longtime blog reader and good friend emailed me yesterday, telling that their grown daughter who lives away from home is to spend Thanksgiving Day in quarantine because of recent exposure to COVID. I am sad for my friend, her daughter, and their family. I imagine that many of us expect to spend Thanksgiving Day in a different way from how we long to spend it.
With that in mind, it is a good time for us to remember two of those verses we thought about a few days ago.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Thanksgiving is more than a day and it is more than traditions—even though our hearts may be breaking while we long for that special day and those traditions to be the way they always were or the way we always hoped they would be. Thanksgiving is thanksgiving. Psalm 100 reminds us of joy and gratitude and of what no disease or disappointment or pain can ever take away from us.
Yesterday I read the Veggie Tale Golden Book, Where is God When I’m Scared? to a couple of our grandchildren on Zoom. That book tells us that God is bigger than any kind of monster we can dream up. He is also bigger than disease, disappointment, and pain.
Maybe our greeting this year should be “Joyful Thanksgiving,” instead of “Happy Thanksgiving.” Maybe it is time for a deeper time of thanksgiving that is not so tied to our traditions.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with jubilation;
Come before Him with rejoicing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courtyards with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting
And His faithfulness is to all generations.