The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him.
He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house, or goats from your folds.
For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.
Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you.
You make friends with a thief when you see one, and you keep company with adulterers.
“You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your kin; you slander your own mother’s child.
These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one just like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.
“Mark this, then, you who forget God, or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.
Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
To me, this Psalm led up to the final verse. All the discrediting of the ritualistic offerings led to the final message about thanksgiving being what God desires. Within that is the recognition of where all we have comes from. All we have is gift. Gift. I think of David Wilcox’s song, “Farthest Shore” – …let me dive into the water, leave behind all that I’ve worked for except for what I remember and believe. And when I stand on the farthest shore, I will have all I need. All I need – those things we hold when all else is gone – thankful.
This morning I got a beautiful message from a dear friend this morning sharing about the ways that I was a part of a transformative time in his life. His message started my day off and immediately moved me into a mindset of thanksgiving and gratitude. So, I have been seeking today to answer any “how are you” question with a simple word, “Grateful.” Grateful for all that I have around me in my life. Grateful is my offering this day and should be an offering each day. Grateful.