THE WORD: Shout out joy to the nations

Published 7:37 am Thursday, November 29, 2018

I had the opportunity to preach on this passage at the Nov. 20 Cumberland Community Thanksgiving Service in partnership with Shiloh New Covenant Church and Payne Memorial UMC.

Psalm 100: Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

In the five short verses that make up this Song of Thanksgiving, we are given a reminder of who we are, who God is to us, and how we should come before Him and honor Him. During this past Thanksgiving week, this passage spoke to me and caused me to question.

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Are all of the nations shouting to the Lord and making a joyful noise to the Lord? Is everybody aware that God made us and He is our provider, sustainer, shepherd and caregiver? Do we come before Him with thanksgiving and praise; show thankfulness to Him and bless His name with our lives and words and actions? If not, then why? Is it because some don’t know? Is it because some don’t see other people doing it? Is it because nobody is coming along beside them to show them?

I often wonder if those who walk with their heads down looking depressed and complaining about everything in their lives are blind to their blessings and therefore cannot see what to be thankful for? I often wonder if those who refuse to say thanks to God, to sing His praises, to worship Him, to serve Him gladly are just lacking a model or another person to show them how?

Everybody has something to thankful for. Everybody has something, some small thing maybe, to give them cause to have some small song of thanksgiving … maybe a verse or too of thanksgiving. Is it because we need more to be thankful for? Do need bigger and better blessings before we become thankful? I found one reason at the very least in this passage. If for no other reason, this one may be enough. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting.

My encouragement to each of you, as is my own goal, is to shout out joy to the nations so those with their heads hung low may look up and see the blessings around them. Worship the Lord, serve the Lord with gladness, so that others may join in the chorus and sing His praises. To stand before God, in his presence with praise and thanksgiving and give Him the glory He is deserving of.

REV. BARRY VASSAR is pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist. He can be reached at