"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." (Psalm 100:4)
Do you have a favorite hymn? Praise song? Piece of music? Do you "shout for joy" like verse one of this Psalm says? Some translations actually say "make a joyful noise to the Lord." For many of us "joyful noise" is probably closer to what we are doing. My son tells me I am "on key" when I know the song - like hymns I've sung since I was little - but "not even close" on new ones. So I am in the "make a joyful noise" group but I do love singing hymns and praise songs.
Today we are celebrating Reformation Sunday, and a 5th Sunday month, with a hymn sing. One of the hymns "Now Thank We All Our God," by Martin Rinkart, was written for the survivors (in Eilenberg around the 30 year war in Germany) because Martin believed there "was no healing without thanksgiving." St. Augustain is quoted as saying "when you sing you pray twice." When you combine these two ideas, and think about everything we have all been going through lately, you get an excellent reason to celebrate Reformation (the start of the Protestant church) Sunday with a hymn sing.
Singing, praising God and thanking God in the midst of everything happening - storms, changes (everything from seasons to times) and technical issues - seems like a good reminder of Emmanuel. God IS WITH US. So...what is your favorite hymn? Praise song? Are you singing?
"He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt." (Luke 18:9)
You did it! Good job!! You finished _________ - fill in the blank. You finished school, got the degree, found your awesome job, finished the harvest, worked until you could retire. All good, and in some cases, wonderful things. But now..... what are you going to do? How are you going to act, or react, around others? Will you continue to learn, grow and do?
Our readings today are about this same idea. In Joel 2:28 we read "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people." Paul is reminding Timothy, in 2 Timothy 4, he (Paul) has "fought the good fight" and "finished the race." God is WITH US in both readings -- through all the changes and challenges as WE "fight the good fight." Jesus is talking to people about their attitude. Are we like the Pharisee - kind of bragging about everything we do or don't do? Or are we like the tax collector coming before God in prayer? What is our attitude to, or with, God and the people around us?
Yes, we have been facing challenges and "fighting the good fight". As Caregivers it feels like one long and continuous "fight." We can, however, KNOW God IS with us! We can continue to learn, grow and do. Something to think about........
"Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where ae the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?"" (Luke 17:17-18)
What are we "thankful for"? We aren't even to November yet let alone Thanksgiving. But can we stop to think about what we have to be thankful for? Everyday there are things to be thankful for but are we? Do we stop to thank God for even ONE thing let alone all the various blessings we have? I remember, back in the dark ages, when we said grace before a meal (and sometimes after as well) but it doesn't happen very often now. Or, like I was just talking about with a group, can we each night think of at least one thing - and preferably three things, to be thankful for? Blessings of the day.....
The readings are about being thankful for the blessings we have. Jeremiah is telling the people it is time to "move on with their lives." It is time to "build houses and settle down." (29:5) Paul is reminding Timothy of the Gospel and for being able to "obtain salvation that is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 2:10) And Jesus is questioning where the others are. (17:17) All 10 were healed. We don't know if any of them went to see the priests (v. 14). All we know is only one returned to praise God and thank Jesus.
What about us? God has blessed each and all of us, to my knowledge, with a roof over our heads, food, families and safety. We don't have bombs exploding or fires, floods or hurricanes. Are we thinking of other things we can praise and thank God for? Or do we wait until November and the one day called "Thanksgiving"? Something to think about........
"I am reminded of your faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded now lives in you also." (2 Timothy 1:5)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.