Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live[a]
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
While every day is a reason to praise God, Thanksgiving week serves as an opportunity to pause, to remember, to reflect, and to be thankful for our present, our past, and our future. Through reflection, God can make our sorrows more manageable, our good days better, our failures meaningful, and our accomplishments purposeful.
Many use this week to pause and reflect in different ways. Many in the Middle East, Ukraine, Burma, and too many other places are simply struggling for the necessities of life. Many Native Americans reflect through lament this week. Others have large gatherings with family and friends. Some serve meals to others. Some receive those meals. Some spend another day alone.
The prophets teach us that our Thankfulness need not be dependent on our circumstances.
17 Though the fig tree does not blossom
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold
and there is no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will exult in the God of my salvation.
Ultimately our joy and our praise are tied to being children of God. Today and always, I am grateful for life, for family, for American Baptists, and for children of God everywhere.
2 Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. C. Jeff Woods
American Baptist Churches USA