Open Your Thanksgiving Present!

Because I love you and am buckets of thankful for you and because you deserve a present, I’ve prepared two—count them—two presents for you, the people who read.

Here they are:

#1 A Thanksgiving Playlist! 

As you cook and laugh and lounge tomorrow, you’re going to want a soundtrack. Lo and behold, here’s a great one made especially for you! 

I’ve noticed a few Thanksgiving playlists floating around, but this one has two advantages:

1. It’s Jesus-y.

2. It’s eclectic. Yes, that is a Bob Marley song you see.

Click here and discover the goodness on Grooveshark.

I spent the day yesterday listening to it and singing in my spoon while I cooked my very first turkey (By the way, it is very apparent when you cook a turkey that it was once alive. I thanked the turkey for her sacrifice and Eve named her “Died for Honor,” Honor for short). Anyway, I loved the playlist and I’m sure it contributed to the moistness of Honor’s dark meat.

Here’s Honor in her pre and post oven states:

#2 A Thanksgiving Reading (or three)

So, I might be alone in this, but I really like having something to read at the Thanksgiving table before we all chow down. Consider it an invitation to thankfulness.

Here are three readings you might try:

Psalm 95:1-7

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;

    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving

    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,

    the great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth,

    and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The sea is his, for he made it,

    and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,

    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;

for he is our God

    and we are the people of his pasture,

    the flock under his care.

2 Corinthians 4:6-15

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

And lastly, and non-canonically, here’s Anne Voskamp on thanksgiving:

I am bell and He is sure wind, and He moves and I am rung and I know it for what it is: this is the other side where Daniel, man of prayer, lived…Daniel is a man of power prayer, not because he bends the stiff knees and makes petitions of the High Throne three times daily. Rather his prayers move kings and lion jaws because Daniel “prayed three times a day just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.” Three times a day Daniel prayed thanksgiving for the everyday common, for the God-love spilling forth from the God-heart at the center of all. The only real prayers are the ones mouthed with thankful lips. Because gratitude ushers into the other side of prayer, into the heart of the God-love, and all power to change the world, me, resides here in His love. Prayer, to be prayer, to have any power to change anything, must first speak thanks: “in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.” … How did I ever think there was another way to enter into His courts but with Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving! May you be transformed in the act of looking upon your God and giving thanks for all He is and all He’s done and all He’s promised to do.