Please join me in “hitting the brakes,” receiving/practicing hospitality, sitting, eating, and giving praise/thanksgiving to the Lord our God.*
O My God,Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for
- the soul thou hast created,
- for adorning it,
- for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
- for the body thou hast given me,
- for preserving its strength and vigour,
- for providing senses to enjoy delights,
- for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
- for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
- for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
- for a full table and overflowing cup,
- for appetite, taste, sweetness,
- for social joys of relatives and friends,
- for ability to serve others,
- for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
- for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
- for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
- for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
- for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures. Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,Guiltie of dust and sinne.But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slackFrom my first entrance in,Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,If I lack’d any thing.—————————–“A guest,” I answer’d, “worthy to be here;”Love said, “You shall be he.”“I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah my deare,I cannot look on thee.”Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,“Who made the eyes but I?”—————————–“Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shameGo where it doth deserve.”“And know you not,” sayes Love, “who bore the blame?”“My deare, then I will serve.”“You must sit down,” sayes Love, “and taste my meat:So I did sit and eat.”
Father, Forgive us for when we have lacked of joy and confidence in you. Cleanse us from our sins. Richly bless us with your Spirit/presence. Fill us with your righteousness and the fruit of the Spirit this Thanksgiving. Enable the Body of Christ to enter Advent with a joy and confidence in you which overflows — giving testimony to your love/reality among family, neighbors, colleagues, members of the campus community, on-line friends . . .
May our testimony in word and action
- stand in sharp contrast to the cultural X-mas by which we find ourselves surrounded
- leading to questions and conversation about the Christ of Christmas.
As Gospel seeds are scattered and watered, may we witness the gift of New Life through Christ birthed in the lives of many this Christmas. In the name of your Son Jesus the Christ, Amen.
**Format from http://www.9marks.org/blog/prayer-praise-and-thanksgiving.
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!