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From The Chaplain's Desk
Nov. 2015 Chaplain's Corner: Give Thanks ...

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  NOVEMBER 10, 2015 --

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Thus begins Psalm 107. Almost the same words occur in the 16th chapter of 1st Chronicles. Giving thanks to God occurs about three dozen times in the Psalms and about three dozen times in St. Paul’s epistles. Closely linked to giving thanks to God is giving him praise. For example, in 1st Chronicles, chapter 29 we read “Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name.” It is difficult to separate the two. Another phrase tied to thanks and praise is “bless the Lord”. God blesses us in the forms of giving us life and an abundance of the fruits of the earth. But how can we bless God? And yet we are told time and again in scripture to “bless the Lord”. God blesses us by giving us what we cannot have without him. What can we give God in return to bless him? God has everything, or so it seems. 

Is there anything that we can give God that he cannot have unless we give it to him? Surprisingly enough there is. God has given us free will in making certain decisions. One decision is whether we reciprocate God’s love for us by loving him in return. I am reminded of Christina Rossetti’s poem “WHAT CAN I GIVE HIM?”

“What can I give Him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd

I would bring a lamb.

If I were a wise man

I would do my part.

Yet what can I give Him?

Give my heart.”

Thus we come full circle. God blesses us because he loves us. And we express our love for God by giving him thanks and praise, thus returning the blessing. 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”  (Psalm 103)


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