Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Tuesday - sharing our thanksgiving

Prayer:  For health and strength and daily food,  we praise Your name,  O LORD.  Amen.

Read  Jeremiah 30: 18 – 24 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD was a time of restoration of Israel.  Jeremiah writes  that the LORD said that the people will come back from captivity to the lands of Israel and Judah.     From the Israelites will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing.

Out of despair and chaos will come songs of thanksgiving.   People who have been taken away from their homes to a foreign country.    Today we hear and read of many people who must leave their country in order to find safety.   The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – the United Nations Refugee Agency states there are currently 45.2 million people who are forcibly displaced.     There were 15.4 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2012. The other 4.9 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). During the year, conflict and persecution forced an average of 23,000 persons per day to leave their homes and seek protection elsewhere, either within the borders of their countries or in other countries.

Developing countries host over four fifths (80%) of the world’s refugees, compared to 70% ten years ago. 

In 2012, the country hosting the largest number of refugees remained Pakistan, with 1.6 million refugees. Afghanistan retained the position as the biggest source country, a position it has held for 32 years. On average, one out of every four refugees worldwide is Afghan, with 95% located in Pakistan or Iran. 

Last year, 46% of refugees were under 18 years old. This was in line with 2012 but higher than a few years ago. Refugee women and girls accounted for 48% of the refugee population.

An estimated 7.6 million people were newly displaced due to conflict or persecution, including 1.1 million new refugees- the highest number of new arrivals in one year since 1999. 

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs):     About 6.5 million people were forcibly uprooted people are displaced within their own country and are known as internally displaced people (IDPs). This equates to a new refugee or internally displaced person ever 4.1 seconds 

With some 4 million internally displaced people registered by the government of 1997, Columbia continued to face a large displacement situation. Escalating conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic displaced an estimated two million within the country, affecting an estimate four million by the end of the year. 

Renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo displaced more than a million people, bringing the total number of IDPs in the country to 2.7 million. Somalia (1.4 million) and Iraq (1.3 million).    War in Mali in 2012 displaced more than 227,000 people within the country. (Facts and Information taken from www.unhcr.org.uk/about-us/key-facts-and-figures.html)

So,  how do refugees and internally displaced persons affect us as Christians? Through our prayers,  we must continue to remember the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons.     Thought our financial support and on-the-ground support,  we must continue to remember the needs of refugees and internally displayed persons.   In your prayers,  ask God today how you can help with the 45.2million people who have no refuge.    Remember to not look at the huge number and think that you can not help out with so many.  Instead of focussing upon what we don’t have,  focus on all the things you are blessed with that will help people who do not have a safe place to rest their heads.   Remember that it is through our efforts working together of answering God’s  call that we can help 45.2 million people.  We give thanks for the resources we have that we can share with the world.  We give thanks that we have opportunities to help bring the love and peace of Christ into our world.

Today,  the three things I am thankful are:


Prayer:  Divine Healer,  embrace me with Your love and happiness and delight.  Allow me to feel confident that I am moving in the perfect direction for my life.  Help me to recognize and celebrate all the wonderful things I have achieved, all the magnificent people with whom I have connected and all the rich experiences I have lived.  As I recognize the grandness of my life,  I feel truly blessed.  Thank You O Lord God Almighty.  Thank You for clearing our minds and hearts and souls so that our focus is always upon You.  It is in Your presence that we live and move and have our being.   With the grandness You have given to us in our life,  may I now extent my hand to help those who are in need this day.    This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Monday - Thanksgiving

Prayer:  We thank You,  our Provider,  for all things bright and good.  The seedtime and the harvest --  our life,  our health,  our good.  No gifts we have to offer for all Your love imparts,  but that which You most welcome  is our humble, thankful hearts.  Amen.   (Mathhias Claudius   “We plough the fields and Scatter”  Hymn.  Words:  Public Domain)

Read  1 Corinthians 1: 1-9

Happy Thanksgiving!    What is the best memory you have of a family thanksgiving supper?    What is the best memory you have of a community or Church thanksgiving supper?    What makes these memories good memories?  Was it the food that made these supper special or was it the people who were present at the table?   Usually our best memories of a family thanksgiving supper  include people we love… and then the time of sharing food around the table.  

The Thanksgiving Monday scripture reading comes from the letter of Paul to the Corinthians.    Verses 1 to 9  are Paul’s  introductory words in his letter.  Most of the time  Paul wrote encouraging words of thanksgiving for the community that he was writing. 

Verse 4 is what we will focus upon today.  “I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way – in all your speaking and in all your knowledge – because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.”  (1 Corinthians 1: 4 – 6  NIV  Zondervan 1983). 

Today if you have family and friends over for Thanksgiving supper,  say this scripture verse over the people who are in your house.    And if you are alone for Thanksgiving supper,  think of people who need a bit of a boost with life – your family or your friends or your community – and repeat this portion of scripture for them.      

Thanksgiving is a time to also remember the joy of living within God’s  love.  It is from God that we receive our life and our strength and our love.    This day remember to say thank you to God!

Today,  the three things I am thankful for are:


Prayer:   All good gifts  around us are sent from You above.  We thank You Lord, we thank You Lord,  we thank You for  for all Your love.   Amen.  (Mathhias Claudius   “We plough the fields and Scatter”  Hymn.  Words:  Public Domain)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sunday Thanksgiving Prayer

Prayer:   Almighty and Wonderful God,  we give You thanks for  Your love for all peoples.   We thank You for our creation and all the blessings You give in this life and the next.  We thank You for the love that You gave to us in Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  With thankful hearts we offer You praise with our voices and with our lives.  May we continue to walk with You in holiness and thankfulness  all the day of our lives. This day and always may we remember the needs of others.  We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.  Amen.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday - God is good

Prayer:  Great God,  You are the giver of all good.  Accept our prayers and bless our actions this day.  Whatever may come our way today O Lord,  may we share Your love with those we meet. Through Jesus Christ,  our risen Lord.  Amen.

Read Isaiah 51:1 - 4

This portion of scripture is in the middle of something called the “Servant Songs”.   Isaiah 51 is not part of the Servant Songs.  The Servant Songs were songs (we have lost the tunes) that remind the worshipper that there will be a return to God … and that all peoples would return to the love of God through God’s servant. 

Isaiah 51 is also a song but very different than the Servant Songs.    It is almost a reality check for the listener.    In chapter begins with “listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn”  (Isaiah 51: 1  NIV  Zondervan, 1983).    As soon as you read words like “cut” and “hewn”  you know this means change for somebody.   The life they had before will be changed. 

The chapter continues with a reflection of history.  Abraham and Sarah were called by God.  They left their home as individuals and became a mighty nation.  Humm,  more change. 

Then comes confirmation.  The LORD will surely comfort Zion--  the place that has been changed—instead of being a place of mourning,  Zion will become a place of joy and thanksgiving will be the sound of singing.       

What does this say for us today?   If we rest and abide in God,  we will find joy and thanksgiving… even when life gets tough and horrible,  God is present.

Just lately in our house,  we have been having a discussion of the words   “God is good” when something wonderful happens.    God is always good so why do we only state God is good when something good happens in our life?    Is it because we ignore God the rest of the time and think when something good happens it must be from God?   Is it because we don’t “see” God working in the whole of our lives and only think God is present when something good happens?    Remember that God is always with us and present in our lives….we just have to make the time to listen and sing with thanksgiving… even when you are standing waiting for a bus and the heavens opens up with rain and you have no umbrella!   God is good.

Today,  the three things I am thankful for are:


Prayer:  God,  each day You share with us Your goodness.  Remind us of Your presence – that You are with us each step we take today.  We give You thanks and praise for  Your love through Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Thursday - enter into the Temple with thanksgiving

Prayer:  Holy God,  we will serve You with gladness and come before You today with joyful songs.  We know that You are our God.  You have made us as we are and we are Your people… the sheep of Your pasture.  For You are good and Your love endures for ever.   Amen.

Read  Psalm 100 (especially verse 4)

This Psalm was sung at the entry into the Temple.  This is definitely a Psalm that we should memorize as it keeps us rejoicing and living in thanksgiving.   The main message of the Psalm is that joy and thanksgiving in God lifts up the hearts of all.  It is in the presence of God that the worshippers find themselves united in one great faith.  

And what are we to do?  Verse 2 states that we are to serve the Lord with gladness.   Serve the Lord.   We do this by the example we set each day in our lives.   We do this through our times of prayer and meditation and readings.  

In this Psalm, the worshippers (and us) find life giving joy and thanksgiving in the love of the Lord.  

Verse 4 was possibly sung by the Levites before the congregation passed through the gates of the Temple.  The Levites begin with a call for everyone to enter the sanctuary of God.  As the congregation entered,  they were to give thanks to God and come in with joyful and greatful hearts.

How do we enter our times of worship and prayer?  Do we come first asking for requests or do we first begin with thanking God?  

Today  begin memorizing this Psalm so that you can pull it up from the recesses of your mind each time you begin a time of prayer and each time you enter a Church.

Today,  the three things that I am thankful for are:


Prayer:  Almighty God,  Your love endures for ever.  From the rising of the sun until it’s setting.  We will lift our hearts and voices in thanksgiving to You today and always.  For we know that Your love endures for ever.  Amen.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Wednesday - living with thanksgiving in God's presence

Prayer:  Come,  let us bow down in worship.  Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For You are our God and we are the people of Your pasture and the flock under Your care.  Amen.


Read  Psalm 95:2

This Psalm is often considered a psalm to be sung during the New Year.    God is Creator and LORD of the universe.   Verses 1 -7 are a hymn that the congregation sung preparing their hearts for worship—Come let us sing for joy to the LORD.    The people come with joy to worship.   How do we come to worship each Sunday?  Do we come with joy in our hearts? 

Verses 7b – 8  remind the congregation that they must not harden their hearts against God as they did at Meribah.   In Numbers 20: 1 – 13 we read of the story of the hardening of hearts at Meribah.   Moses and the people were now in the desert.  The people were thirsty and began to whine and complain that they should have died in Egypt instead of wandering around in the desert.  Aaron and Moses went into the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown to worship God.  God told Moses and Aaron to gather the people around then rock.  Then Moses was  to take his staff and hit the rock once and water would come out of the rock.  Moses does almost as God says but the whining and complaining of the people ticked him off so greatly that he whacked the rock twice.  Then God said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honour me as  Holy in the sight of the Israelites,  you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”  (Numbers 20: 12  NIV  Zondervan, 1983).      

Do we harden our hearts today instead of living with thanksgiving in God’s presence?  Today, think and meditate how our Churches can live with thanksgiving in each community so that each community knows that the Church loves God with all joy in believing.

The three things I am thankful for today are:


Prayer:  Today if we hear Your voice O God,  we will answer with joy and delight.  We will raise our hearts in praise and our voices in song.  We thank You for this day and for the experiences we will have in this day.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Tuesday - Problem thanksgiving

Prayer:  Save us O God for the pressures of life have come up to our necks and we are sinking into the miry depths.   In our despair,  we know that You provide for us a foothold and a solace.   In Your great love,  You answer us and hear our cries. We rejoice in Your abiding presence.   Deliver us this day O Lord for whatever we may face,  may we face it together in joy and thanksgiving.  Amen.

Read  Psalm 69  (and especially verse 30)

This Psalm is the cries to God from an individual in deep distress. We do not know what this person’s problem was that caused such deep distress.  And just for your Biblical knowledge,  this Psalm is one of two Psalms that are most frequently quoted in the New Testament.    This Psalm follows a pattern as do most of the psalms that have deep distress: a.  invocation of God and asking for help,   b.  a description of the need,    c.  petition for deliverance,   d.  motivation for granting the request, and                 e.  expression of confidence.

It is in the expression of confidence that we find thanksgiving.  “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving”  (Psalm 69:30  NIV  Zondervan, 1983). 

When we have a problem,  do we immediately go to God in prayer?  Or do we go to our family and friends and tell them our problem first?    And in retelling the problem,  does the distress grow bigger and bigger?   

When we have a problem,  how do we get from sharing the problem with God to a time of thanksgiving?    Why not follow the pattern of the Psalm?  Our prayers should begin with asking God for help and telling God about our problem.  Then we ask God to help us see our way out of our problem OR unload our burden and give the problem to God.  Next step in our prayer is to express our thanks in God.   Notice  we did not include the motivation for granting the request.  Too often  we perceive this part of the prayer as the “bargaining” part… if we do “x” then we ask God to do “y”.     Bargaining has no place in our prayers.    We can not say “God we will attend Church the rest of our lives and read the Bible if You would just do…..”    Bargaining has no place in our prayers.   But thanksgiving certainly does.   Always remember to say thank you to God.  Our gratitude to God means we grow as Christians.

The three things I am thankful for today are:


Prayer:  Today and each day O LORD,  I will praise Your name in song and glorify You with thanksgiving.   Amen.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Monday - Music as Thanksgiving

Prayer:  For Your love and mercy O God,  we give You thanks.  For the food we eat and for the friends we meet,  we give You thanks.  For each new day we can live and work in Your presence,  we give You thanks.  Amen.

Read Nehemiah 12:22 – 26

Read  1 Chronicles 23: 28-32

A list of names are given of these Levites who sing praise and thanksgiving according to the command of David.   These men would singing praise and thanks usually in connection with prayers as well as the burnt offerings.  In 1 Chronicles 23: 28 – 32,  a listing of their tasks is outlined.   These men were to help the Priests in the service of the temple of the LORD.    The men would stand opposite each other while singing thanks each morning and each evening.  They were to serve before the LORD regularly.  This was their duty but it was much more than a duty or tasking… it was a way of life.   

Who helps out with the music at your Church?  Today we might say that our Choirs have taken upon a portion of the role of the Levites in singing praise and thanksgiving.       When your Choir meets for Choir practice,  do they spend time in prayer?   Do they read over the scriptures for Sunday so that they know the scriptures and prayers they will be singing?    Somehow over the decades,  our Choirs have changed from being a group of people who meet for education and study of the Scriptures and learning the Sabbath music  and prayer  to a group who  practice music for each Sunday.  

This week,   keep the Choir and Music Director and Musicians in your prayers.   Pray that they may seek out the Word of God that they will be singing each Sunday.  Pray that they will gather as God’s  people before worship in a time of prayer.   Pray that they may continue to lend their voices to the praise and thanksgiving of God through their singing.

The three things I am thankful for today are:


Prayer:  Heavenly God,  we lift up to You today those who lead Your worship in music and song.   Guide their voices and their music so that with one voice and one song,  we all can praise Your most Holy Name.  Amen.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday - World Wide Communion Sunday - Rejoice!

Prayer:   Gracious God,  pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us so that we who are joined together in prayer this day may be one with Christ and He with us.  Today we offer ourselves to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You.  In Your mercy,  accept our prayers of praise and thanksgiving.  Fill us with the joy of eternal life, that we may be Your faithful people until we feast with You in glory.  Through Christ,  with Christ,  in Christ,  in the unity of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.    (adapted from PCC  “The Book of Common Worship”  Thanksgiving Prayer  pg 38,  1991).

Friday, 4 October 2013

Friday - singing thanks

Prayer:   This day Holy God,  we lift our voices up to You in praise.  We thank You for our lives and the experiences You have placed upon our paths.  We remember this day O LORD  those who are   voiceless.  May we help them to restore their voices. Bless them and us,  through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read  Nehemiah 12:8

Leading in worship with the Priests are the Levite singers.  The Levites were responsible in the Temple and synagogues to sing the psalms and chants during worship.    In Nehemiah 12: 8  there is a listing of the Levites who were responsible for the songs of thanksgiving….  Jeshua, Binnui,  Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah. 

In any worship,  it is important to have songs.   Today we call them hymns but during the time of Nehemiah, the Israelites would have sung prayers to God.  Why is it important to sing hymns in Church?     Is it because we love the sound of the piano or organ?  Or we love the blending of voices in the choir?   Nope.  We sing hymns as a way of praying together in thanksgiving to God.  It is in our singing that our prayers blend together so that we can worship God in thanksgiving.  

What is the singing like in your Church?   Do people sing with great gusto?  Or do only a few sing the hymns and everyone else just stands and keeps silent?     Over the years,  we have actually lost our singing voices.  This is not good as this means our prayers to God have also diminished.   

Today there are all sorts of excuses why people no longer sing.   The excuses rang from “I have  no voice”  to “I don’t know the hymn”.      Many Churches have favourite hymns and will only sing these selected 50 hymns.   The excuse is that no one knows the “new” hymns.   But by only singing 50 (or less) hymns,  we limit the thanksgiving and prayers we offer to God.  

Just think back to the time of JS Bach.  Each Sunday  he would have written new music.   Preludes,  Offeratory,  Hymns,  and Postludes.    JS Bach would spend time in prayer and focus on the scriptures to be read that Sunday before he even began writing his new music.  Wow!  

One of the functions of the Church during JS Bach’s  time was to teach people to read through singing hymns and reading scripture.    Each Church would have many Choirs of all age ranges.   The  Choirs would meet for a time of learning how to read (from the Bible), a time to practice the hymns, a time to learn how to read music,  and for prayers.  Look around your community… is there a need to begin free music lessons and singing lessons for people of all ages?   Something to think about!

Today,  what hymn will you sing throughout the day in thanksgiving to God?

The three things I am thankful for today are:


Prayer:  We come this day Almighty God  as a thankful people.  We know that the world is Your harvest field and we are the workers in Your harvest.    We rest and abide in Your presence now and always.  Amen.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Thursday - rebuilding the city

Prayer:  Open our minds to Your most Holy Word  O LORD our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

Read Nehemiah 11:1 - 17

Nehemiah is a fascinating book of the Bible.   Nehemiah is a butler to King Artaxerxes and one night while serving him dinner,  the King asks Nehemiah why he is so sad.   Nehemiah responds that the walls of Jerusalem are destroyed.    Long story short,  the King sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls.    Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem but is met by opposition.  The walls are eventually rebuilt but another stumbling block occurs.  The people living in the city are taxed to within an inch of their lives. Nehemiah corrects that by saying that the rulers and leaders must not tax the people… and then sets as an example by giving monies and grain to the people.  Nehemiah calls upon the officials and says, “What you are doing is not right.  Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God…..” (Nehemiah 5: 9  NIV  Zondervan, 1983).      And the officials return the land and grain to the people as well as stopping over taxing the people.  

Then,  there is another problem in Jerusalem.  There are not enough people living in Jerusalem to make the city flourish.  The people pray.   So Nehemiah reads the genealogy of the families who had been the first to return  and then ask for 10% of those living outside the city to become part of the Jerusalem community.

Nehemiah governs Jerusalem for twelve years.   And this is where we are in today’s reading.  The new residents of Jerusalem are moving into the City.  One of the new resident’s  of the city is Mattaniah son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph.  Mattaniah is from the family  tribe of Levites.  While Mattaniah is not a priest,  he is the one  who leads in thanksgiving and prayer during worship and offerings.

In all of the planning and rebuilding of the city and the people,  Nehemiah did everything with prayer.  When we read of Nehemiah’s  prayers,  they are not prayers of “we want this and we want that”.  Rather Nehemiah’s  prayers ask for God’s will to be heard by all peoples.   In our Churches today,  how do we pray for our new programs or  new church building plans?   Do we gather as a people to pray so that the Elders can discern God’s call and provide us with direction?    

Today,  remember to keep the Church you attend in your prayers of thanksgiving.

The three things I am thankful for today are:


Prayer:   Bless us O God so that our lives become a reflection of Your glory.  Use us to Your service and make us ever mindful of the needs of others.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Wednesday - rejoicing in the Church

Prayer:  In You,  O LORD,  we take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  You are our shield and our defender.   With great thanksgiving,  we will live this day in Your joy and Your praise.  With great thanksgiving,  we will rejoice in You with our hearts and our voices.   Amen.

Read Ezra 3: 7 – 13

After the Israelites were returned from their capture in Babylon,  they rebuilt  the Temple.    For many this was a time of great praise and thanksgiving.  When the foundations were laid,  the priests took their place as prescribed by King David and praised God with thanksgiving in their hearts.    They were praising God because their Temple was once again being built which meant all Israelites could begin worshipping in the Temple.    The Temple was once again their centre for worshipping God.

 Yet for some of the older priests and families,  this was a time of weeping.  This new Temple was not like their old Temple.  It was a change.   The old Temple had been destroyed when the Babylonians descended upon the Israelite people.   The Temple is the centre of Israelite worship.  With the Temple destroyed by the Babylonians,  the ability to worship was taken from them.   Sure,  the priests and people could worship in the synagogues they created in Babylon,  but it was not the Temple. 

But perhaps even in the older priests’ weeping,  their weeping was also relief that the Temple was being re-built.  Their tears were signs of rejoicing for the new and sadness for the loss of the old.

What about our Church?   Do we weep when there are changes in the Church building?  Or do we rejoice with songs and prayers with the new changes?   Many of our Presbyterian Church buildings are at the age where major repair is needed yet we do not have the funds.  Instead of pouring monies into an old Church building,  perhaps we need to be looking at other venues we can use as our Worship Centre.   We also need to remember that the Temple was the centre of the community.   Our Churches must also focus on being the centre of the community.  If our focus is totally upon repairing an old building,  we loose sight of the work needed to be completed within the community – helping the sick, the dying,  those living in poverty, and the elderly.  

With each change,  we must remember to give praise and thanksgiving to God.  Thanksgiving is what keeps our hearts in tune with God’s  call to worship and to life.

The three things I am thankful for today are:


Prayer:  Great God,  You have given us so much.  Give us one more thing--  a greatful heart.  Keep our hearts in tune with day with Your call.    All for Christ’s sake.  Amen.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Tuesday - Thanksgiving

The whole month of October we will be focussing the Devotional on Thanksgiving,   on being thankful, and  on  gratitude.    Each day as you pray and read the Scriptures,  write down on these Devotional pages three things for which you are thankful.   These three things can be simple things like “Thank You God for today’s  coffee”  or “Thank You God for the phone call from the Church” or “Thank You God that I can pick up that pen that I dropped on the floor”.
Tuesday  1 October

Prayer:  Divine Healer,  release from us all disagreements and conflicts,  pain and sadness,  grief and anger.  Through Your Most Holy Spirit,  instill within our hearts and souls and bodies Your love and Your strength,  Your healing and Your wisdom.  Thank You O Lord for the life You have given to us this day.  May we live out our lives today with You.  Amen.

Read Leviticus  7: 11 - 15

We begin our meditations this month in the Old Testament.   When we think of Thanksgiving in this era we think of the celebration in October  where we surround ourselves with friends and family over a meal of turkey and cranberries and pumpkin pie.

Yet,  in the Old Testament,   thanksgiving was an offering placed before God.  In Leviticus,  the opening chapters are an instruction book for the people of the various sacrifices and when the sacrifices  should be offered.  The opening chapters also give instructions for the priest on their tasking of what to do with each sacrifice and offering.    The Old Testament peoples offered offerings not only to ask God for forgiveness but to become closer to God.   Offering sacrifices and offerings also helped the people take hold of  their responsibilities  for identifying their bad actions and then asking God for forgiveness.

There are five distinct types of offerings.  Burnt offerings, grain offerings, peace offerings (which included thank offerings),  sin offerings, and guilt offerings.  The Thank Offering  is the type of offering we learn about in today’s  reading.    A thank offering was usually given in fulfillment of a vow, as an act of piety,  or as an action of thankfulness.   The stuff used for a thank offering was unleavened cakes or unleavened wafers  mixed with oil or a cake made of oil and fine flour and then fried.   Besides these cakes/wafers,  the person also offered leavened bread.

Don’t you find it interesting that the thanksgiving offering and our celebration of thanksgiving involves food?    Food is at the centre of our being.  Food keeps us healthy.   Food is also something we share with others.   We join together over a meal with family and friends.  This is called “fellowship”.    As Christians we join together over a common meal of bread and grape juice in Communion.   

This day as you eat your breakfast and elevensies (or second breakfast) and lunch and coffee break and dinner (or supper depending where you live),  remember that the love of God is celebrated each time we eat our food.  Remember to lift up to God in prayer,  your thankfulness for the food that is before you this day.

The three things I am thankful for today are: 


Prayer:  Divine Healer and Almighty God,  we know that You abide with us.  We know that You rejoice in us.  We know that You suffer for us.  We know that You heal us.  We know that You awaken our souls and delight in our ways.  We know that You can transform us to being the person You would have us be if we just listen for Your voice.  We know that with You we can share our thanksfullness with the world this day.  Amen.