I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. – Psalm 56:12

I was struck by this verse this morning, not because I was supposed to read it, but because my devotional book skipped it.  Just this verse.  This struck me as odd.  Why did they skip just this one verse?

Well, as Lutherans, I think we are sometimes too quick to skip a verse like this.  We often don’t think about what we should do for God.  We like to talk in terms of what He is done for us – the gifts He has given us.  And this is right on!  That should be our focus!  

But those gifts should result in a response also.  When I was a child my parents tried furiously to instill a habit in me of always sending a thank you card when someone gave me a gift.  Sadly, it is one place they failed to instill good manners in me.  But giving thanks is the appropriate response.  And it is the appropriate response to God also.

Now obviously God enjoys a good thank you prayer.  But what are the “thank offerings” He wants.  Psalm 51 tells us, ” The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart…”  God wants us to understand that we need Him!  (And to act like it)

But we can also “pay it forward.”  God has put us here on this earth to care for His creation – especially one another.  In Galatians He tells us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good…”

So, in this Advent season, give thanks to God, by sharing His gifts with others.  In this way you will “perform your vows” and “render thank offerings.”

We Pray – Dearest Lord, we thank You for all of the incredible gifts You have given us – especially those given through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Help us to always be thankful. – Amen.

Pastor David