Posted on 10th October 2014 at 12:23 by Mark Herbert in Pastors’ Blog
I didn't enjoy English lessons much at school and can remember spending much of them looking out of the window, waiting for the bell to ring so I could get outside and play sport! But I do remember studying the C18th English poet, William Wordsworth. I have forgotten much of what I learnt but one thing I can remember. He once wrote of the importance of 'slowing down so that you can be thankful'. Spending a lot of time outdoors, which was a major inspiration for his poetry, Wordsworth grew a deep appreciation for the natural world.
A few days ago, I was walking home from a meeting with my head spinning with ideas and action points. The day had felt like a big rush to simply get the next job done but not far from my house, I stopped to take in the beautiful view across the countryside towards the Chiltern hills. I walk past this same spot every day and yet this was the first time in what seemed like weeks that I slowed down enough to appreciate it. In this moment, I recalled the words of a Christian writer who has written about his sadness that so many people are awed by creation and yet have no-one to thank. It is only though faith in a Creator God that we can avoid this sadness being true of us.
Psalm 100 is a wonderful and well-known Psalm of thankfulness. In verse 3, we are encouraged to 'know that the Lord is God'. In this line, we are reminded of two different names for God. 'Lord' (a translation of the Hebrew word YAHWEH) is the Covenant name for God, reminding us of his faithfulness to his promises and his saving work through his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. 'God' (a translation of the Hebrew word Elohim), reminds us that God is the creator and sustainer of all things. It is this name that is used of God in Genesis 1.
Taken together, these two names provide us with a reason each day to be thankful. In Jesus Christ, our salvation is secure. And in him, we can know the loving Creator who gives us all things to richly enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). Surely this gives us reason to join in with the Psalmist and 'shout for joy to the Lord'? So slow down and be thankful... or you may just miss the moment!