Thanksgiving worship

From the Desk of…

by Debora Bell, Lt. Colonel – 

Wow—God is worthy of our worship! It is that time of year again. We are preparing for the holidays, and the first one to arrive is Thanksgiving. There is so much to do! Choose the menu. Choose the table decoration theme. Prepare the guest list, shopping list, and get ready, set…shop! Hope we get the day before Thanksgiving off or at least a half-day so we can begin to prepare for the big meal. Better make sure the turkey is thawed. I remember our first Thanksgiving together when the turkey did not thaw and I thought it would be okay to put it in the oven anyway.

Did I get those frozen pumpkin pies? Now you put them in the oven while they are still frozen. Right? Chop up that celery and those onions. Oh, why bother, Stove Top stuffing tastes just as good if you add eggs, giblets and broth from the turkey. Wait, Don is smoking the turkey so there won’t be broth and giblets; I will have to buy the gravy.

Remember the year I decided to make a rolled turkey breast? That was not good, but it was better than our first turkey. That is why Don took over making the turkey (Good plan!). What time will the guests arrive? Now let me see, should we use Grandmother Bell’s china or our blue dishes this year? Now what was my table decorations’ theme again? We had better use the blue dishes they go better with the blue tablecloth and napkins. Oh, no, I forgot the bread and the cranberry sauce. Our guests arrive and we join them in the family room until the food is ready to put on the table. Finally it is time to eat! Everyone finds a place easily because of the place cards. Quick, get the food on while every thing is hot. Oh no, I forgot the bread!

We pray and have a shared devotion where each person reads the individual Scripture verse located on their place cards. (Each verse is about being thankful.) We eat. We eat too much and feel guilty about people who do not have food. We finish the meal and play a couple of games until dessert. We clean up as we go. Everyone goes home. We finish cleaning up. We go to bed because it has been a long day. The thought occurs as I fall asleep, “God is worthy of our worship.” I think I missed something in all of the busyness of the day.

Do you have a similar Thanksgiving tradition or story? Every year I try to achieve the perfect Thanksgiving and set the stage for a wonderful memory. Too many times I have ended the day feeling like I forgot to take time to truly thank, praise and worship the One to whom we are working to express our thanks. God is worthy of our worship. I have to ask myself, “Is my praise, thanks and worship a worthy gift to God?”

In the northern hemisphere November is the time of enjoying the harvest. In the heartland of America, fields are prepared for their winter’s rest under soft white blankets of snow. The south is breathing a sigh of relief that hurricane season is over for another year. The desert is cooling down and showing its beauty. Beach cities are slowing down. It is time to step back and take a moment to reflect on all our blessings.

How can we not give thanks to God when we really stop to think about the blessings he has showered upon us? Reflection leads to gratitude. Gratitude leads to worship. Take a moment to breathe in, inhale God’s presence and exhale out thanks and praise. Linger in that holy presence and express praise and love for God. Now that is worship. Worthy worship is unhurried, freely given and full of praise. This Thanksgiving, I plan to make time to give thanks, praise and worship worthy of our awesome God. God is worthy of worship.

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