Let Us Give Thanks

For the Week of November 23, 2015
by Rubel Shelly

Gracious God, Giver of Every Good Gift,

We acknowledge that life, health, and joy
Are your pleasant favors to us.
Thus we thank you for parents, mates, and children,
For siblings, friends, and colleagues who bless our lives.
We affirm your greatness at sunrise and sunset,
Praise you for productive days and the sweet rest that follows.
Yours is the glory and honor and majesty
In all the things we seek and enjoy and savor.
We understand that work, responsibility, and the power to earn
Are granted to us by your sovereign goodness.
We praise you for all that has been provided to us
And for all you have enabled us to provide for others.
We also recognize the deep distress that life brings to all
In the forms of loss and illness, lack and heartache.
While these are neither your intent nor work in our lives,
Even there we honor you for your faithfulness as our God.
We sense your strength when we are at our weakest,
And we experience your fullness best in our emptiness.
Thus we dare to sing in prison cells and laugh at death,
For you are the God of life beyond these mortal limitations.
If we sensed no pain, would we flee to you for comfort?
If no imperfection, could we marvel at your excellence?
If no insecurity, would we worship any gods but ourselves?
If no sting of sin, would we ever seek the path of redemption?
On this Thanksgiving Day, then, we thank you for sunshine and storm,
For Eden that gave us a glimpse of your beauty and holiness,
For Egypt that made us desire a Land of Promise,
For Gethsemane that revealed to us a sympathetic High Priest.
Whatever the life situation with any one of us today,
Teach us the spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude and joy.
For all that we have and hope for, we praise you;
For all that compels us to seek you, we praise you even more.
In the Blessed and Holy Name of Jesus our Savior we pray. Amen.