Happy Thanksgiving! The decorations are changing now from Halloween to Thanksgiving and even Christmas. The weather is getting closer to Christmas weather too (and I can’t believe it’s not summer anymore). Things are changing at PALM too, as my time on The Board has come to an end, and by the time you read this, someone else will be PALM President.
So it’s time to give thanks. Thank you for your support during my term as President and English District Representative. PALM is in good shape and in good hands. Continue to support it. Increase your support of it, and of our Pittsburgh Lutheran, and of all our missions and ministries here in Pittsburgh. Most importantly, pray for them and give thanks for their work as we all work together to spread The Gospel of Jesus Christ here in the Pittsburgh area.
Giving God thanks isn’t just a matter of common courtesy. It’s commanded. Dr. Luther teaches us to confess that The Second Commandment doesn’t just teach us to not misuse God’s Name, but it also teaches us to use it rightly. How do we do that? By calling on Him in every trouble, by praying to Him, praising Him, and giving Him thanks! Pray Him for all you need, praise Him for all He has done for you, whether in your own life, or through Jesus’ Death, or for salvation (and the list goes on), and thank Him for all these things too.
But it’s so hard to remember these things. We might pray when something goes wrong, but it’s so easy to forget to give Him thanks once things get better. The nine lepers Jesus healed are a good example of this (and we’ve all seen this in our lives whether with us or with others). Jesus wants us to call on Him for mercy, but then He also wants us to thank Him all our days. What does He desire? He desires you to hold fast to Him all your days.
So let us give God thanks for all His gifts to us. You know what they are. I could list so many, whether you, dear reader, or my congregation, or my family and friends. I would certainly list the many years God gave Harold Schnaible to Pittsburgh, as well as The Lutheran Hymnal, now 75 years old but still one of the greatest Lutheran hymnals ever published in our land. I’ll close with the prayer that faces Hymn 1 in that beloved hymnal (p. 170).
O GOD, our Father, Whose praise is in The Church, uplift our souls to the holiness of Thy presence that with pure hearts we may adore Thee and worship Thee with joyful lips; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and The Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.