Thursday, November 24, 2011

This and That Thursday: Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, my writing friends! I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

Last year when I was teaching the life of David to my junior high class, I couldn’t help pausing at the spot when David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. It was a joyous moment for God’s people, and David wrote a Psalm to commemorate it. Here’s a portion:

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
2 Chronicles 16:8, 12

In order to heed David’s call to give thanks, I created an activity for my students. I participated as well. We started with how God has blessed all of His people, then moved to our churches, our families, and finally us as individuals.

Since David said to “make known His deeds among the peoples!” we used our class time to sit in a circle and share what we found. It turned out to be a really neat activity, which sort of bonded us as a class.

I decided to do it again this year. Here’s how I filled out the worksheet I gave the class.

Give Thanks Worksheet

First, read 1 Chronicles 16:8-36

1. When God’s people were … waiting and waiting for the promised Messiah who would take them out of the cycle of sin which they couldn’t escape on their own

God … sent His precious Son Jesus to walk this dusty earth, suffer, and die, drinking the cup of wrath they deserved and giving them new life.

2. When my church was … Mourning the loss of one of our covenant children

God … Knew our pain and comforted us with the truths of His Word, bonded us together in the love of the body, and offered Himself as the comforter to our souls.

3. When my family was … Terrified they might lose me to a cardiac arrest

God … was their shelter from the storm, calmed their fears, and answered their prayers by bringing me home.

4. When I was … overwhelmed with anxiety and perfectionism, the busyness of life trapping me in it’s unyielding grasp

God … allowed me to have a cardiac arrest which slowed me down, helped me see what’s really important, taught me more about love than I can express, and made me thankful for each precious moment I’m here.

I liked doing this. It helped me to focus my thanksgiving on God and His character. Hmmm...I can see it becoming a tradition.

If you’d like to add this to your Thanksgiving activities, I’ve posted the worksheet and instructions on my web site. It's called, Give Thanks Worksheet and Instructions.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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