Psalm Perscripted Thanksgiving Service
Call To Worship: Meditation 1 Shout!
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Not every service has to start with quiet reflection. There are times when it is fitting to make a lot of noise, and according to Psalm 100, which is a Psalm for giving thanks, tells us to start everything with a shout. Literally start our worship with a loud noise, it need not be voices, it can be trumpets blasting, conversation that is loud and joyful and even shouts to the glory of God. And the reason for this joy is that the Lord, JWH is Lord over all the earth. This Psalm in many ways is a concluding refrain of Psalms 95 - 99, Psalms which celebrate that God is King over all the earth. This is a Psalm for giving an offering of thanks. The Hebrew language does not have a word for thanksgiving, but it does have a word for bringing an offering of thanks to the temple. Leviticus 7:12 and following gives very clear instructions on bringing to the temple an offering of thanks to the Lord. This service is our offering of thanks and so we will do it by the perscription of Psalm 100, listening to its instuctions as we worship. We will sing loud and boisterous songs. We will sing songs of quieter worship. Give thanks without restraint, for our God is the Lord of all the earth.
ALL SING: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
Meditation 2 -= Worship!
Worship the Lord with gladness;
Reluctant worshippers don’t fit well in this context. Servants with a grumbling heart - its time to change your attitude. The Lord is King over all the earth. There is no blessing in your life that has not come from him. From the O2 in your viens to the food in your stomach to the work you have each day, to the sun rising and the rain falling, it all comes from the Lord who is King over all the earth. So serve the Lord with gladness. Be still old gumpy heart. This is a day, this is a time for gladness, joy, thanksgiving, celebration for the whole earth worships the Lord, the giver of life. Every day is a gift, and that is why we call it the present.
For the Beauty of the Earth PsH 432
Children’s Message “I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made”
Meditation 3 Come!
Come before him with joyful songs.
We have started studying the temple. This is temple language. Before him in the Hebrew is qal - peni - language used for coming into the presence of God, language used for coming into the presence of a King, the presence which we cannot do without, for his presence in our lives is help, knowledge, understanding, favour, direction. To live Coram Deo, before the face of God is to be a Holy People, a temple people in this world. As Peter says, you are, as living stones, being built into a holy temple to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices. And the instruction is "to come." That is active. Participating in thanksgiving and worship is not passive, it requires our action, our intention, our will, our mind, our bodies, liturgy is the work of the people, it is not something that a choir or a band or a music director or a pastor does for you. Coming before the face of God takes the participation of every fiber of our being joyfully engaged. There is no room here for sitting back and letting music ministry do the singing. Everyone of us is the music ministry, because God is listening to our voices, our hearts. To think that we are watching a performance has it all wrong. We are the performance, and God is watching what we do as our expression of thanks.
All Sing: PH 454- Now thank We all our God
Meditation 4 Know!
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.
The word know is a command. Acknowledge, recognize, agree with, confess, the Lord JWH is God. This demands faith, belief. Thanksgiving is for those who know God because they have in life sensed his providencial and life giving gracious care. Throughout the scriptures, this repeated phrase “that they will know the Lord” is connected to the actions of God. Israel was rescued out of Egypt so that they might know the Lord is God. The wonderful works that God has done throughout scripture are done for the purpose that all may know that the Lord JWH, he alone is God and there is no other. It was by God’s all powerful hand that he rescued Israel from the land of Egypt, he shepherded them out of slavery all the way to the promised land. So he made them, not only in forming each one of them as individuals, fearfully and wonderfully made, but also as an entire people, he made them. And we too, through Christ have been made a chosen people, a holy nation, he is our good shepherd and we the sheep of his pasture. And each day, we receive his divine gracious providential care for he is the Good shepherd he watches over the sheep, both our coming and going, now and forever.
Walking in the Light- Testimony
All Sing: PH 183 With Grateful Heart My thanks I bring
Walking in the Light- Testimony
ALL SING: Let All Things Now Living- (PH 453)
Walking in the Light- Testimony
Meditation 5 Enter!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
The tabernacle and the temple in the Old Tastament had gates that led to an outer court. Here is Psalm 100 we discover a right approach to the living God. Entering into his presence, before his face, involves entering the gates of the temple and coming into the courts of the Lord. And it is fitting that we do that with joy, with thanksgiving, with praise. Maybe you wonder why we have the practice Sunday after Sunday of opening our services with songs and praise, sometimes in a row with little liturgy, sometimes with liturgy between each song, the reason is because it is fitting to enter into the presence of the Lord with thanksgiving and praise. And the way that we do that in our church culture the best is by means of songs where we each can express the joy of our hearts as we come before him.
And this is entering into his presence. This is entering into the knowledge of his favour, the direction he gives, the care he provides. The right approach to God is important for experiencing his presence in our lives, his blessing in our every day. So give thanks. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
ALL SING: Shout to the Lord
Meditation 6 Give Thanks!
Give thanks to him
Remember that the Hebrew does not really have a word for thanksgiving. That as a general word is a product of Western culture. But it does have a word for a thank offering. The intention of a thank offering was to give to the Lord more than just words, it was to be an offering of food, even a cake finely baked, to be shared together with the priests of the temple, a freewill offering of a sacrificed animal, the best of the best, nothing half hearted, nothing held back. Giving thanks had to do with an offering. And so on this day we to bring our offerings, offerings of food for the needy, offerings of gifts for causes that the Lord has put on our hearts, offerings for the local church and its needs, especially as we come to the end of the year. All these offerings are acts of worship, they are offerings to the Lord, JWH, our Saviour and our God who has been good to us, and his goodness has and will never cease. Give thanks to Him.
SING During Prayer: In the Lord I’ll be Ever Thankful
Free Will Offering
Meditation 7 Praise!
And praise his name.
This is the last instruction or command in this Psalm. Praise his name. Literally Bless his name, but when it comes to blessing God, we more commonly phrase it "praise him." One of the clearest illustrations of what it means to praise God comes to us from Psalm 103, and if you remember the older translations, it reads "Bless the Lord." We will read it from the NIV Translation.
1Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Song of Response- I will Enter his Gates
Meditation 8 All Because…
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
In this last verse we see the character of God that causes all of creation to shout out in thanksgiving and praise.
For the Lord is good! - a theme that starts right from Genesis 1 where 6 times creation is celebrated and the Lord saw that it was good - to the very end of creation where the beauty of a New Jerusalem and its river flows with the goodness of the Lord for the healing of the nations.
For the Lord’s incredible and loyal love to us! His love endures forever. We may be like grass, we flourish in the fields, but with time we age, we wither and die, but the word and the love of the Lord endures forever, from generation to generation. His love, his grace, his forgiveness never changes.
And for the Lord’s faithfulness. He is today what he was yesterday and throughout history, and he will be tomorrow what he has been in the past, unchanging in his character, unrelenting in his love for his Son and those who are in his Son, rock solid reliable in all his ways. Once again, Psalm 103 does such a wonderful job in highlighting God’s goodness, loyal love and faithfulness.
6The Lord works righteousnessBenediction
and justice for all the oppressed.
7He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
The Parting Blessing- To God Be the Glory
(NIV) Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.