Psalm 100 - Giving Thanks
Nov 25, 2008 by Nancy Buschart | 0 Comments
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Birds do this. A joyful noise is made by the wind when it whistles through the leaves in the trees. During autumn days in Estes Park, Colorado, you can hear the eerie sound of elk calling for a mate. Joyful noises - chattering squirrels, mooing cattle, baa-ing sheep, honking geese. Laughing children and conversation among friends.
† Help me, Lord, to be awake and attentive to these sounds. I ignore them, or I get irritated by them, and view them as interruptions in my peace and quiet. Instead, let me connect them to you. Let me hear creation's obedient response to your command, and let me join in!
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Gladness doesn't have to do with circumstantial happiness. Our gladness comes from knowing our creator God and being in right relationship with him.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and not we ourselves [NASV];
We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
God is the Maker and we are the ones he has made. He is the Shepherd; we are the sheep. God is distinct from every created thing.
This line symbolizes the distinction between the being of God and the being of whatever is on the other side of the line. Often, we view this line not as a solid, ontological division but as dotted and permeable. Functionally, we live believing that we can be God in our own lives and in the lives of others. God is God; I am not God. The sheep are not their own shepherd. The clay is not its own potter. The great arrogance of human beings is that we think we are God.
This arrogance is clear in Isaiah 29:15-16.
Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord,
whose deeds are in the dark, and who say,
"Who sees us? Who knows us?"
You turn things upside down!
Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
Shall the thing made say of its maker,
"He did not make me";
or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,
"He has no understanding" [of me]?
Robert Mulholland calls this a "self-referenced" life. This describes "a way of being in the world with others that has grounded its identity, meaning, value and purpose in a matrix of relationships, activities and things in which God has no meaningful role." On the other hand, a God-referenced identity is one that remembers God as the central, defining component of our being. Right relationship with God is essential for life.
It is he that made us-He is the Potter; we are the clay. He is the Shepherd; we are his sheep.
† Creator God, I confess my propensity to assume the position that rightfully and exclusively belongs to you. Humble me that I might remain always in right relationship to you.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His steadfast love endures forever,
and His faithfulness to all generations.
† Lord, forgive me for so often forgetting the countless occasions of your goodness, your love, and your faithfulness to me. Forgive me for doubting that your goodness will find me today, here and now in my present need. Forgive me for questioning and resisting your steadfast (unwavering, persistent, unconditional) love for me, for embracing fear and worry as more real than your faithful provision over my life.
As I enter these days of Thanksgiving, help me remain rightly related to you. May my heart and voice be lifted to you in worship, praise and thanksgiving that you are God.
Asking The Three Questions
Who is God?
God is God; good, loving and faithful.
Who am I?
I am not God; I am the sheep of his pasture, the clay dependent upon the Potter. The grateful recipient of God's goodness, steadfast love, and faithfulness.
How am I living?
Help me, Lord, to remain in right relationship with you, and be thankful.
©2008 Vine, Vision & Voice
Nancy R. Buschart