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TELL THE STORY

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1 Chronicles 16:8–10 AV
Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
1 Chron 16:
1 Chronicles 16:34–36 AV
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.

Tell the Story

In Archibald MacLeish’s play J. B., there is a provocative scene wherein the family is seated around the Thanksgiving table. As J. B. carves the turkey, the children begin urging their father to tell the story. They, of course, know the story. They had been brought up on how J. B. had become a shining knight in the business world. But tradition and expectation demanded a recapitulation of the saga on a day of celebration.

All of us have a story. Families hand down stories, and they are often repeated at festive occasions. Individuals have stories to tell, and so do congregations. Professing Christians are commissioned to tell the story of the promised Messiah, His life, death, and resurrection (Matt. 28:16–20).

In we find David's psalm of thanks. This song tells us that we are to give thanks for thanksgiving.
In we find David's psalm of thanks. This song tells us that we are to give thanks for thanksgiving.

I. Give (v. 34)

1 Chronicles 16:34 AV
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
Two of God's primary characteristics are celebrated in this verse: His goodness and His love.
David said that God is good. What does that mean? It means God's essence and character are the epitome of goodness and righteousness. Because God is so good, we are to give thanks.
Why should we give thanks? Simply because we are God's creation, we should do nothing else and nothing less. We rejoice in God's goodness. We do this by giving thanks and by our worship.
In the New Testament, the word for "thanks" gives us our words grace and eucharist. When we celebrate the Lord's Supper in remembrance of Jesus' shed blood and battered body, we give thanks. All of our existence and worship should revolve around giving thanks.
The Lexham Bible Dictionary Jewish Prayers of Thanksgiving

Jewish Prayers of Thanksgiving

According to the Mishnah, the standard prayer for food begins with, “Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe” (Berakhot 6:1; Neusner, Mishnah, 9). Those praying then acknowledge God’s sovereignty over the specific item being blessed, whether fruit, wine, vegetables, or loaves of bread.

The Babylonian Talmud forbids anyone from enjoying any pleasure from the world until they have first offered a “blessing” to God, who has provided it (Berakhot 35a; Simon, Tractate Berakoth, 134–36). The Babylonian Talmud views the blessing as a means of thanks because pleasure is only made available through God’s goodness and love (Kadushin, The Rabbinic Mind, 168).

Feeding Miracles

Each Gospel account of Jesus multiplying loaves and fishes (Matt 14:14–21; 15:29–39; Mark 6:30–44; 8:1–13; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–15) mentions that He “gave thanks” (εὐχαριστέω, eucharisteō; or εὐλογέω, eulogeō) before miraculously distributing the food. While the two Greek terms used in these accounts hold slightly different meanings—εὐχαριστέω (eucharisteō) means “to give thanks,” while εὐλογέω (eulogeō) properly means “to bestow a blessing”—the term εὐλογέω (eulogeō) seems to be an idiomatic expression meaning “to give thanks” (Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew, 644). The idea is that Jesus was offering thanks to God as provider, not “blessing” the food in order that it might multiply.

The four main verbs used in the accounts of these miracles (“took,” “gave thanks,” “broke,” and “gave”) reflect the Jewish pattern of blessing at a meal (Boobyer, “Eucharistic Interpretation,” 162). The

In addition, God's love endures forever. We experience His goodness because of His love that
Caused Him to create humanityInvolved Him in the affairs of His chosen peopleCaused Him to provide redemption for us through the sacrifice of His only begotten SonCompelled Him to extend His presence to all His people through the Holy SpiritEnables us to give thanks
Caused Him to create humanity,
Involved Him in the affairs of His chosen people,
Caused Him to provide redemption for us through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son,
Compelled Him to extend His presence to all His people through the Holy Spirit,
Enables us to give thanks
The central response of God's people is to give thanks through prayer, worship, and daily living.
records the story of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well. In response to her question about the proper place to worship, Jesus replied,
John 4:24 AV
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Thanksgiving, like just about every other religious holiday, has been commercialized, secularized, and watered-down by segments of society that have little or no concern for the real meaning of the holidays.
Isn't it interesting that what used to be "holy days" have become "holidays"?
Feasting and football sells well in a secular world order, but are a far cry from the biblical intention of focusing on God as the recipient of our thanks.
David helps us understand and recover the meaning of Thanksgiving by focusing our attention on the true purpose of the day - to remember and rejoice in the goodness and love of God.

II. Gather (v. 35)

1 Chronicles 16:35 AV
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
1 Chron 16:
The focus of our concern is different from that of verse 35. In that verse, the people feared other nations from without; we have more to fear from within.
We need our Savior to do three things:
Save us
Gather us
Deliver us
The Israelites celebrated significant experiences and victories. They did this because they saw and understood that everything came from God.
If the experience was negative and harsh, it caused them to consider how they might have sinned against the Lord.
If it was positive, they praised God and celebrated for joy.
The Israelites gave thanks for God's deliverance. This elevated Him above all neighboring people's gods. It served as a testimony of God's greatness to those people who would see and understand the significance of such thanksgiving. That further enhanced God's name and brought fear, awe, and respect on their neighbors who observed such celebrations in honor of a mighty, deliverer God.
A hen will gather her chicks and will cover them with her body when bad weather threatens. After the storm passes, the chicks will come out from under the protective wings of their mother and will get on with whatever chicks do all day.
We must be careful not to relegate Thanksgiving to a once-a-year celebration. Everyday ought to be a day for thanksgiving. Surely, even in the harshest and most worrisome days, we can find something to be thankful for.
As someone has said, "If you cannot be thankful for what has happened, be thankful for what has not happened." "God is our provider: be thankful to Him. Turn your table into an altar."

III. Glory (v. 36)

1 Chronicles 16:36 AV
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.
Things come full circle. Here God's people magnified and praised Him. They gathered together and directed all their praise, honor, and thanks toward Him for His grace that He had bestowed on them.
How did the Israelites praise God? Through worship, certainly! All that makes up a religious celebration - singing, feasting, sacrifice, speaking, rejoicing - these people did to glorify God. Just as we do what we do in worship to praise God, so did these people in David's time. What they did, what we do, is to celebrate and to glorify Him.
"And all the people said 'Amen' and praised the Lord."
The word amen is "not simply approval but a solemn, formal assertion that the people accept and agree to [God's] covenant and its curses and blessings." (source: Kenneth Barker, ed. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985)
Thanksgiving is more and more squeezed between Halloween and Christmas, where it loses its identity and purpose.
Nowadays, the entire season, including Halloween and Christmas, is referred to as the holiday season.
Your Christmas tree now is a holiday tree.
Your kids don't take Christmas break; they take winter holidays.
What's happening? We are allowing the sacredness of the Thanksgiving season to be sacrificed on the altar of profit, where it has been turned into a folksy, warm, fuzzy, secular holiday.

Conclusion

We need to recapture the specialness and sacredness of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We must be especially concerned that our time of thanksgiving not slip the moorings of its spiritual heritage.
Over and over again, we are encouraged in Scripture never to cease giving thanks and praise for:
Who God is
What God does
God's very "Godness" from everlasting to everlasting
We need to conclude this Thanksgiving message as the children of Israel declared in verse 36 with their twofold: "Amen" and "Praise the Lord!"
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 6587 Thanksgiving Lady

6587 Thanksgiving Lady

Thanksgiving might not be celebrated in the United States today, were it not for a patient, persistent woman named Sarah Hale.

It is well-known that the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621 to give thanks for their winter in the New World.

In 1789, President George Washington issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation to commemorate the first Pilgrim celebration. But Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States discontinued it, calling Thanksgiving, “a kingly practice.”

After this, Thanksgiving was observed by some individual states, and on whatever date suited their fancy.

Then in 1828, Mrs. Hale, the editor of the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book and author of the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” began campaigning for the restoration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

She wrote letters and sought appointments with national leaders from the President down. Time after time she was politely rebuffed, sometimes being told it was “impossible” and “impractical,” and sometimes being dismissed with a this-is-none-of-your-business scolding.

Finally in 1863 President Lincoln listened seriously to her plea that North and South “lay aside enmities and strife on (Thanksgiving) Day.” He proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November to be the official “National Thanksgiving Day.” This day was finally ratified by the U. S. Congress in 1941.

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