Greetings Liberty family & friends
It’s a joy to have another Ladies Ministry event taking place this morning as we also welcome you all to worship tomorrow.
Join us for Cafe Liberty greetings between 9:45 and 10:15 AM and let us pray for prepared hearts to share in Communion during worship tomorrow. In the beauty of God’s design for His redeemed people, the symbolism and simplicity of the Lord’s Table is a priceless treasure.
Thanksgiving week also holds a very unique place in the heart of this nation. For all followers of Jesus, it brings us a rare opportunity as well. Among all the holidays that are shared and enjoyed by millions, there’s a kind of built-in witness in Thanksgiving to the God whose creation dazzles us daily! The very word “thanksgiving” could not have entered the English vocabulary had it not been for its frequency in the Bible. Ironically, whenever the word “thanksgiving” is spoken, even by those who refuse to honor God, the word itself stands as a strong witness to a truth that is a deep need in every human heart. A sense of awe for Almighty God begins with that simple acknowledgement that there is a person to be thanked!
From those desperately difficult days of 1620, when the first gathering of Pilgrims shared a feast of celebration for God’s guidance until this very week, we can track 403 years of Thanksgivings in which many times, the future looked terribly bleak. In the currents of chaotic controversy that shapes American culture now, this Thanksgiving stands like a mighty boulder on a storm seacoast. It’s a quiet, humble reminder to all Americans that these crises of many types are a call to turn to God.
When Abraham Lincoln decided to make it official policy of the United States, calling all people in 1863 to “set apart and observe….a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the heavens”, his decree was like a tree being planted in good soil. That makes this 2023 Thanksgiving the 160th time Americans have had this day on the calendar, whether they’re believers or not.
This simple “holiday” also has deep roots in the practices of worshipers in other generations. One of the highlights of restoration for a troubled nation is pictured in the Bible in the days of Nehemiah. That bold and tireless “re-builder” saw the need for all those who aided in re-building Jerusalem to be washed in songs about Almighty God. He drew a direct connection between being thankful to God and his work as a builder and a defender of the holy City. Nehemiah was so determined to honor God in those tough times that he formed a pair of choirs to sing praises and to loudly give thanks on the walls that were under construction! Here’s how the scene is described in Nehemiah 12:40
“So, the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God ~ and the singers sang loudly!”
How cool is that? A dual choir standing above the ruins, joyfully declaring honor for God and pointing the way to much brighter days ahead.
For our troubled nation, the starting point for all prayer must be exactly as it was in Nehemiah’s day. Thanksgiving is the first order of business in prayer, not the last. That’s one actionable step we can take with the 160th Thanksgiving since Lincoln’s proclamation. Praise, giving thanks and glorifying God are a vital part of recovery, re-building, restoration and renewal. It’s the starting point for new courage. Best of all, anyone can do it!
May your Thanksgiving week be abundantly blessed with an overflowing cup of joy.
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“I will go about Your altar, O LORD, proclaiming
with the voice of thanksgiving as I tell of all Your wondrous works!”