"A Life of Thanksgiving and Worship."
November 22, 2021, 9:35 PM

Psalm 100

    Our reading today is about worshipping God and giving thanks to God. But this psalm doesn’t call us to set aside only one day a year to give thanks. This psalm is a call to worship, to praise, and to thank God every day. The first verse, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!” is a summons to all the people of the earth. It recognizes that God is the Creator of all the earth. It declares that the whole earth, and indeed the whole of creation, belongs to God. We are called to “serve the LORD with gladness!” This word used for serve doesn’t just belong to the world of being in church either. This Hebrew word is used for all kinds of work, not just serving in the church. It echoes what Paul says in the New Testament, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). No matter what you do, no matter where you work, no matter who you talk to, you are serving Christ. When you go to your job: serve Christ. When you get home with your family: serve Christ. When you go on vacation: serve Christ. When you go to the grocery store: serve Christ. This psalm calls us to whole-life-worship.

    Worship isn’t just something we do once-a-week. It isn’t something we observe if we aren’t playing in the worship band or preaching. Worship is about giving thanks to God, serving God, getting to know God through His Word, and proclaiming God to those who haven’t heard the good news of Jesus.

    This psalm wants us to be fully engaged in worship. Notice all the action in the psalm. We are to make a joyful noise, to serve the Lord, to come into His presence and sing, we are to enter His courts and gates (a reference to the temple in Jerusalem – think of this like going to the church building) with thanksgiving and praise, and to bless His name. These are all actions that we as worshippers engage in. This type of worship isn’t just reserved for pastors and church musicians. So, who does this apply to?

    The psalm says that we are His and He created us. This means that all of God’s people are to engage in loud, joyful, thankful, and praise filled worship. Not just on Sunday morning either.

    But why should we be joyful? Why should we be glad? Why should we make noise and sing and praise God? The psalmist gives us many reasons:

  1. He is God – we should be thankful that God is God. Because God is who He is, He loved us and entered a covenant with us through His Son Jesus Christ and has set us free from our sins. God didn’t do this because we are special, He did this because God is loving and good! God sent Jesus to die on the cross and make us His people because God is loving and graceful and merciful.
  2. He made us – we owe our very existence to God. We are not here by accident. God intentionally created this world and all that is in it and pronounced it good. God still loves His creation. That is why when Jesus comes again God will re-create the heavens and the earth.
  3. He made us His people – through Jesus Christ we are in covenant with our Creator! We are free from our sins, and we know that God holds the future. That means we all have very bright futures, no matter what our present circumstance may be.
  4. The Lord is good – God is good. He is good to us. He is kind. He gives us gifts and provides for us through the Holy Spirit. Even in the hard times, God is good.
  5. His steadfast love endures forever – nothing can separate us from the love of God.
  6. He is faithful to all generations – God is faithful to all generations of His people. Therefore, we teach our kids and hope they teach their kids about God. This is also why we are called to tell others about God’s faithfulness and love in Jesus Christ. He is faithful and loving toward all who repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Christ.

    As with every year, this year has had its difficulties. We have seen a lot of change in the world, in our country, our communities, and even in our families. I am sure you have changed this year as well. I know I have. Everything is different. That fact isn’t unusual. Every year brings change. Some years are harder than others. But every year brings change. Some good. Some bad. As humans, we deal constantly with change. But God has not changed. God will never change. During all this change, all this anxiety, all this grief, God is good and loving and faithful. We can be joyful and glad because nothing can change the fact that in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!