"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" (Psalm 95:1-7 NIV).
Today all across America families gather together to celebrate with thankful hearts and minds the blessing of living in a country of freedoms. In just the past few weeks our freedoms have been challenged again by terrorists and our hope of peace seems to fade. Yet we belong to the Prince of Peace who is our Hope and our Savior. Our battles have already been won. This is our hope on a day when we lift our voices in Thanksgiving and celebrate the season of harvest.
The traditional hymn, "We Gather Together" rings in my head as I ponder the many blessings I have to be thankful for today. I'm so blessed to have most of my family close enough that we can be together and I don't take that for granted because I know many are not so fortunate. As we squeeze chairs around a table that has become too small, our hearts will be overflowing with gratitude. The food is fragrant and bountiful, the house is warm and relaxing, the company is delightful and well loved. May the words of that old hymn ring true this blessed Thanksgiving.
"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 praises to His name: He forgets not His own. 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! 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!"
(We Gather Together, Netherlands folk hymn by Edward Kremser, 1877)
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.