Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. – Psalm 100:4-5
Thanksgiving. For most, this is a day set aside for family, turkey, football, and maybe a time of actually giving thanks. For the believer, this day should and can be a special day of truly thanking the One who is the source of everything, but in reality, every day should be filled with thanksgiving. Pastor Brian reminded us of this recently in our Rooted series when we looked at Christian maturity. Thankfulness is the mark of the mature, rooted Christian. He challenged us that day to be thankful and magnify the name of Christ.
The Jews found a way to put this into practice through the Blessing. It stems from a word from Moses in Deuteronomy 8:10: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.” The word “bless” here is not one of bestowing favor, but one of praise. This Hebrew word can also mean “to kneel.” It gives us a picture of kneeling down to praise God for His goodness. The Jews would, and some still do, fill their days with little breaths of blessing. There is a blessing for when you wake up, when you dress, when you chop the vegetables, when you walk out the door, etc. There’s even a blessing for when you use the toilet! The intention is to remember that God is the one who gives us everything. Everything good, bad, joyful, sad, beautiful, ugly…it all comes from Him. It is a way to center our hearts and minds on Him and be thankful.
So, especially as we enter this season of Advent, this season of celebrating the Messiah’s birth, would you join me in trying to incorporate this custom of blessing into your life? My prayer, my desire, is to become so full of blessing, of thanksgiving, that there is no room for anything but Him in my heart.
“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.”