Preparing to give thanks

 This reflection was published in the devotional magazine These Days.  I wanted to share it with you as we prepare for Thanksgiving.

“So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.” Deuteronomy 26:10

The ancient Israelites brought their offerings to God, collecting the “first fruits,” the very best of their crops to present to the Creator. They expressed their thanks for the harvest, whether it was bountiful or slim, knowing that all they received came from God.

How do we express our thanks? The Bible repeatedly invites us – commands us –  to praise the Lord, give thanks to God, and come into God’s presence with singing.  Being grateful is not passive, it is active.  First we need to notice our blessings. Then we respond by giving thanks.

How will we express our gratitude today?  Who do you know who might need to be thanked today? Whose work is overlooked or undervalued? Who could benefit from receiving appreciation? Saying “thank you” could change their day – and yours.

Action Step: Consider creative, tangible ways you can express your gratitude to God. Who will you thank today?

Generous God, help us recognize the blessings you place in our lives. Amen.

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