IT’S MY TURN to teach our Bible study class on Sunday morning.
This is a session no one else wanted to teach.
My Bible study group creates a one-year set of study topics. Those of us who lead the sessions sign up for the topics we want to teach.
No one signed up for this.
When no one signs up for something, I’m the someone who gets to teach.
The title of the session is “Thank God.” It launches our Advent theme for the holidays.
I doubt that no one signed up because they couldn’t think of anything to thank God for.
My guess is no one signed up because it’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day. Life starts to get hectic right around this time.
The Bible study passage we’re looking at seems appropriate enough for Thanksgiving. But it looks dingdong dang hard to teach.
When I read it yesterday, I thought “How on earth can we match this level of thanksgiving to God?”
We’re going to be reading 1 Chronicles 16, which might leave some students of the Bible asking, “Can any good thing come out of Chronicles?”
This is the part of Israel’s story where King David brings into Jerusalem the most sacred object the Jews ever owned: the Ark of the Covenant. It was a wooden box covered in gold. Inside it contained the tablets of the 10 Commandments.
David was ecstatic about bringing the ark home. It had been in storage for about 20 years. But now that the Jews finally had a capital city, they could turn the political center of their nation into the spiritual center as well. Temple yet to come.
In the meantime, the ark had arrived. And the people sang a song of praise that seems to me would be hard to match.
A few lines from the song:
Tell the heavens and the earth
to be glad and celebrate!
And announce to the nations,
“The Lord is King!”
Command the ocean to roar
with all of its creatures
and the fields to rejoice
with all of their crops.
Then every tree in the forest
will sing joyful songs
to the Lord.
Be honest. When was the last time you felt that way about God?
Have you ever felt that thankful to God about anything?
That’s what I’ve been thinking about this week. That’s the main question I will ask my group of Bible study students on Sunday.
When I started thinking about that question for myself, it shocked me.
I felt that way on Tuesday. I couldn’t believe it. By Wednesday I had already almost forgotten that I had been that happy.
My daughter came to see me. She is due to have my first grandchild, a boy, in a few weeks. She came with a video of a three-dimensional sonogram she had done recently in a one hour session. It wasn’t because of worries. It was because my daughter, a nurse practitioner, wanted to see what was going on in there, with all that kicking and punching and twisting around.
And, she wanted a sneak peek at her little boy.
We brought the sonogram CD downstairs into the Man Cave, where I have my TV for watching the Kansas City Royals win the World Series. Go Royals.
The images at first looked awkward, a bit like a tiny person tied up in a knot. Hands and feet up around the head like they had been growing there beside the ears.
A face flashed across the screen.
Eyes closed. Pug nose. Pouting lips.
I was seated on the side of my recliner, near my daughter who sat on the couch.
I stood up.
The face moved.
The mouth opened—his, and mine.
His mouth closed and I saw his face pucker up like babies do in the moment before they cry.
My eyes filled.
I know my jaw dropped.
This is my grandson.
When was a time you were so happy in God that your jaw dropped?
I’d love to hear about it.
For more about thanking God
- Thanking God for the kids
- Thanking God for the kids, part 2
- Thank you very much, God
- Thanking God it’s Friday
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- R.l. Vandenburg
- Shirley D Powers
I give away free books each week to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog and quarterly newsletter. The Chosen Ones get the option of selecting my new release: A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible – among about half a dozen other titles.
Holiday discount: A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible
There’s a holiday price drop on the e-book edition of A Quick, Guided Tour Through the Bible.
Bad news. It ends in a few days, early next week, I think.
The e-book is available for $9.99.
Here are the links you can use to get the book: