1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.
29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 118: 1, 17, 19,-20, 24, 28-29
One of the first verses of scripture that I memorized as a student at Grace Lutheran School was this verse: Psalm 118:1. It is an easy verse to remember, and appropriate for this month of November. This month we will celebrate a national day of thanksgiving. The wonderful thing for us as Christians is that we know to whom to give thanks and why to give thanks.
We focus our thanksgiving on the Lord. It is God who is the source of all that we have in this world, including the world itself. It is also God who provides us with the assurance of a life beyond this earthly life as we are reminded in verse 17 of the Psalm. So it is that every day we should acknowledge with rejoicing another day of life with a loving and merciful God.
God has done for us all that is necessary to be deemed righteous. Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God’s mercy and love for us. His sinless life, innocent death, and glorious resurrection have ended the power of sin and death for all believers. Death in this world is indeed the gate to eternal life with God. Every day then will be a day to rejoice, give thanks, and extol the love and mercy of God that endures forever.
The Psalm ends as it began, “ O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” This is how we should begin and end every day of our lives: giving thanks. After all, we are already living in the days that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in them.