Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 138. (MsgB)
A David Psalm.
Thank You! Everything in me says “Thank You!” Angels listen as I sing my thanks.
I kneel in worship facing Your holy temple and say it again: “Thank You!”
Thank You for Your love, thank You for Your faithfulness;
Most holy is Your name, most holy is Your Word.
The moment I called out, You stepped in; You made my life large with strength.
Isn’t it amazing sometimes how rude we human beings can be?
I mean, how hard is it, honestly, to utter two simple words. Two syllables. Three little back-n-forth movements of our tongue. One easily-spoken phrase that carries great weight with both God and people.
Can you say it with me? Be careful now. Don’t hurt yourself…
Good job! We did it! Doesn’t that feel better?
Now, you’ll notice that I capitalized the Y in ‘thank you’. I’ve been doing that kind of thing for years now when I quote the scriptures or reference God the Father, Jesus the Christ, or the Holy Spirit. Oh yeah, I know that the original Hebrew and Greek translations of the Bible don’t capitalize any pronouns when talking about God, but I decided way back that this was just one way I could honor God, placing Him and His life over and above my own.
So when I say ‘thank you’ to God, I say “Thank (Y)ou”. When I write about Jesus, I capitalize (H)is name. When I’m talking to the Holy Spirit, I pray that my words might bless (H)im.
Yes, I know. This capitalizing stuff drives some of my friends crazy at times. On occasion, I find that it has almost become a compulsive thing for me. Who else, for example, would sit at the computer at church and go through all of our song files, capitalizing the pronouns for God and Jesus in the dozens of songs we sing on Sunday morning? Goofy, you say? I suppose it is.
But for me, capitalizing pronouns for the Holy Trinity has now become a way of life. Now-a-days, I can barely stand to read my Bible and see a pronoun that’s referencing God or Jesus and it isn’t capitalized! Who knows? Maybe I can get more of you to do such things and we’ll start of revolution of capitalizing the pronouns for YHWH in every Bible that’s printed? In the meantime, I guess it’s just my simple way of elevating God and His name in everything I do.
But…back to this ‘thank You’ thing.
Why is it that so many of us have such a hard time saying ‘thank you’ or ‘thank You’?
Whether it be ‘thank you’ to the guy or gal who serves up our cup of coffee at Starbucks or ‘thank You’ to the God of the Universe for giving us life and breath in the morning, I say that we just don’t seem to get it when it comes to uttering these two simple words that, quite honestly, are a game changer.
Back in Psalm 100, the Thanksgiving Psalm, we find the Psalmist telling us to “enter (into God’s presence) with the password: ‘Thank You!’ ” Now here in Psalm 138, King David uses the phrase, “thank You” six times in six verses! Indeed, this Psalm could easily be called ‘The Thank You Song”.
So, whadayasay, gang?
How about if you and I start a whole new movement of God that centers on becoming thankful people? Oh yeah, I know that there is so much stuff in this world that stinks. So many problems. Far too many awful events that tend to take our breath away. Tons of trash in our lives that clutter up the sidewalks of our journeys with God. But, what the hey?
Let’s choose today to push that crap over to the side of our plate for a while. Treat it like the broccoli or green beans our moms wanted us to eat when we were kids.
Let’s go right to the dessert in life. Let’s let out a hearty ‘thank You, Lord’ so all the world can hear us. Then, after 20 minutes or so of thanking Him, let’s go out and see how many different people we can bless today by telling them, sincerely, “thank you for being just who you are!”
Ready? Thank you for listening. Let’s go.
My prayer: Father God, Thank You for being just who You are. Thank You for shining, like the bright Morning Star. Jesus, thank You for all You’ve done, all You’re doing, and all You’ve yet to do in loving ‘the hell’ out of me. Holy Spirit, thank You for in-dwelling and empowering me to become a thankful follower of God. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: What practical steps can I take today to become a practitioner of ‘thank you’s’? What might happen if people around me began seeing me as one who never failed to say ‘thank you’ regardless of the circumstances or despite the gloomy atmosphere we find ourselves in? What might change in my life if I would become more like King David in Psalm 138, speaking out my thank You’s to God in nearly every song I sing?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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