Psalm 145 is a wonderful song of thanks to God, including thanksgiving for his eternal goodness. The psalmist writes, “They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.” Paul carries this celebration forward in the New Testament when he writes of the Corinthian community celebrating the gifts of God’s goodness, “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Cor 4:15).
The wonderful thing about praising, or giving thanks to, God is that we can do it with our voices. Often it is said by psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists that humanity is meant to be in community. Communities are meant to act as groups of people who speak with one another. The key word there is speak. For some reason we like to talk…mostly about ourselves. Of all the creatures that were put upon this earth we see very few that stand around in grocery store aisles, before congress, in front of jury, or even around water-coolers. Francis Schaeffer seeks an answer for this when he writes:
“You have something different in man. The Bible says, and the Christian position says, “I can tell you why: God is a personal-infinite God.” There has always been communication, before the creation of all else, in the Trinity. And God has made man in his own image, and part of making man in his own image is that man is the verbalizer. That stands in the unity of the Christian structure.”
Claiming to be a Christian is to claim to be in communication with the God who is there. There meaning that he both listens and speaks today as much as any day. God chose us to be verbalizers in order that we could speak of his blessings and of his glory. That is precisely because he is a personal God who receives glory when we experience his goodness.
On this annual celebration of giving thanks, we are in community with relatives and friends. We remember that we were always meant to be in this type of community. We should also remember that we are in this community along with our personal-infinite God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Community is the place to celebrate the blessings of God. We are a Gospel people, a good news people, an evangelical people. Therefore, it is our job as verbalizers to …verbalize the goodness of our God! That is what thanksgiving is all about! In the words of Albert Mohler, “For Christians, thanksgiving is not merely an attitude, it’s not merely a prayer, it’s also a vocation. It is thanksgiving to which we are called.”
Take time this week to tell someone how good God is to them, to you, to your family. But before you do this be sure to pray the answer to this question: How have You, my God, been good so to me this year?
Pastor Chris Osterbrock
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com
Schaeffer, Francis, He is There and He is Not Silent (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1975), 65.