Lectionary: (Readings re-arranged for Canadian T-giving): Joel 2:21-27; Psalm 126; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Matthew 6:25-33


Thanksgiving weekend has arrived and some families are waiting hungrily for that special, seasonal meal while others have already had that meal and now the leftovers are calling.

I’ve written before that I love The Eagles. Even though I don’t like country music, Don Henley’s excellent country album Cass County, released in 2015 is a huge favourite of mine right now.

One of the insightful songs is about drought and the most basic survival need we have. Praying for Rain reminds us about the fragile balance of our existence and how dependant we are on the earth, rain, sunshine and minerals that grow our seeds. None of the other things we pray for will matter much if the rains don’t fall.

Another song that is meaningful is Too Much Pride which is a serious contemplation of one of the oldest and most common mistakes humans make with clever insights like ‘…it’s gone nation-wide’ and it’s ‘…the oldest form of suicide.’ Regardless of how highly we think of ourselves, our lives depend strictly on the goodness of God and his gift of a creation that sustains us.

How easily we forget.


I was struck by these words from the passage in Joel and the concern for the soil and the creatures that live on it:

‘Do not be afraid, O land. Have joy and be glad, for the Lord has done great things. Do not be afraid, you animals of the field. For the fields of the desert have turned green and there is fruit on the trees. The fig trees and vines are full of fruit. Be glad, O sons of Zion. Be happy in the Lord your God. For He has given the early rain to help you. He has poured down much rain for you, both fall and spring rains, as before.’


There is a long-held tradition in the Christian faith that God loves his creation and is intimate with it. October 4 was the Celebration of St Francis of Assisi who made creation care a central theme of his teachings. Because I have evangelical readers I need to say that we don’t worship the creation but we recognize that God gave it to us. He made everything, delights in it, participates in it and manifests through it.

I have often wondered how God must gaze with delight as he watches the intricate design and colours of flowers, the worldwide flow of water, creatures interacting and building, the arms of vegetation reaching up toward heaven. How he must be thrilled as our colourful globe spins and the clouds and stars decorate the sky. He must love watching the days and seasons and systems unfold before him as the planet provides life to itself.

Those thoughts make how we live in this world important, and how we treat God’s creation is even more important for the people of God.

We should be continually thankful for the beauty and the gift of things that are beyond us, yet for us.


Theologian Karl Barth wrote, ‘…even the smallest creatures [glorify God]. They do it along with us or without us. They do it also against us to shame us and instruct us. They do it because they cannot help doing it. [So] when man accepts again his destiny in Jesus Christ…he is only like a late-comer slipping shamefacedly into creation’s choir in heaven and earth, which has never ceased its praise”.

Remember Psalm 19, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God’? How about Isaiah 55 and its proclamation ‘… the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands’? They are invitations to join with all creation in exuberant praise and thanks.  

Think about it: all of creation praises God simply by being itself. I praise God best by being who he made me to be.


Read Psalm 136 repeating ‘His love endures forever’ out loud as an expression of thanks.


  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

  to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
  who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
  who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
  who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
  the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
  the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

                       ~ ~ ~

  He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
  and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
  He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

  Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.