Thanksgiving reflection …

I love this Thanksgiving hymn … I’ll offer a few thoughts on each verse below:

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
he chastens and hastens his will to make known;
the wicked oppressing now cease from distressing:
sing praise to his Name, he forgets not his own.

God’s will is for wicked oppressors to stop distressing their neighbors … And God doesn’t forget those who are oppressed. Thanks be to God!

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
so from the beginning the fight we were winning:
thou, Lord, wast at our side: all glory be thine!

What a beautiful thought, especially on the edge of the Advent season … God with us joining. Since God has joined with us, since God has inaugurated God’s peaceable kingdom, good can’t ultimately lose and evil can’t ultimately win. God has been with us, whatever we have experienced. Thanks be to God!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
and pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation:
thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

“Some trust in horses and some in chariots,” the Psalmist said. (Today, he would write, “Some trust in B-1 bombers, and others in landmines and the nuclear option.” See Psalm 20 and 1 Samuel 8:11.) “But we will trust in the name of the Lord our God,” the Psalmist concluded. This hymn expresses the same sentiment … trusting God to lead and defend us. On this unique holiday, may we all pause and simply hold thankfulness in our hearts in the presence of God.