Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own.” (1 Chronicles 29:10-16)
Building the temple of the Lord was in the heart of King David but his son would be the one to fulfill that dream. David was a man of war and the Lord prohibited him from the construction of His house. The king implored the people to give of their wealth to build the house of the Lord and the response was overwhelming. David’s psalm of thanksgiving is a beautiful expression of how wonderful the Lord blesses His people for their love and devotion of Him. Thanksgiving comes from a heart filled with the love of God. It strips away the pride of man. The heart knows that everything given to man is by the power of the Creator. Man is only a servant in the world blessed with all things good that comes by the will of a loving Father.
Thanksgiving is about the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty of the Lord. A thankful heart is bowed low realizing the feeble attempts of man come only by the blessings of the Lord. Everything man receives from the earth comes from God. The soil produces crops because life is germinated by God. Man does not do that. He can toil the earth but the bounty is only by the hand of the one who formed the seed. All that is in the world comes by the will of God. The abundance of the sea, the field and the sky is ordained by the creative design of a loving Father. He is exalted in thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is acknowledging the rule of God in life. Riches and honor come from Him. The air comes from His hand, the sun shines according to His will and the firmament is established by His word. In His hand is power and might and strength comes from Him alone. There is a reason to give thanks to God and praise His glorious name. The Lord God reigns, rules and holds the breath of man in His hand. Thanksgiving is the creator of the world allowing feeble man to come into His presence and acknowledge Him. Giving back to the Lord our portion is returning to Him what was His to begin with. The Lord allowing man to come before Him is the greatest measure of thanksgiving.
Sharing a meal of thanksgiving is proclaiming the glory of God and His unending blessings of the earth established by His hand. Every day should be an exaltation of the wondrous glories of an eternal Father who loves us so much He gave His only begotten Son. Through Christ, we have hope, love, joy and redemption. There is nothing more to be thankful for because this thanksgiving will never end. Plates will empty and days will pass from a celebration of Thanksgiving but the joy of eternal hope will never fade. Thank you God my Father for the abundance of Your forgiveness, Your love, Your patience, Your presence and most especially the promise of eternal life with you. Thank you, Lord God Almighty.
Gratitude tries to return more than has been received. (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae 2a-2ae, cvi. 6, 1272)