July 10, 2021

Gratitude and Praise

What we simply call the communion prayer in my church is much longer in more liturgical churches. It's called the Great Thanksgiving, and it always begins with a dialogue (or preface) that includes these (or similar) words:
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Lift up your hearts. 
We lift them up to the Lord. 
Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God. 
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
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Thus when God's people are called upon to remember the holy meal, the formula of the psalms comes into play:
Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
 Psalm 106:1
We praise God by thanking God, and when we thank God, we praise God. "It all points to God," wrote John Wright Follette (1883-1966); "and how do we glorify God? We can only glorify God by doing God's will, and wherever the will of God is done, it is God who is automatically glorified." 

Whether it's the holy supper or God's gifts in creation, God's eternal love is impossible to ignore. To be grateful is to share that love, and when we share love with the world around us, we we doing God's will.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
 Colossians 3:17
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Make me so truly grateful, O God, that I cannot keep your gifts to myself, but share your generosity with my neighbors, in Jesus' Name.
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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