Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Head That Once Was Crowned"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 21:14-16 – The blind and the lame came to [Jesus] at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant. "Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?" (NIV)
While I was eating lunch with my sister-in-law and her little lad about three-and-a-half years of age, my sister-in-law's phone rang, and she left the table to answer.
Just then, the little lad finished his bowl of spaghetti and cheese, and asked me to give him more. I did. And he said, "Now put some catsup on it and I'll pray again." I did. And he prayed, "Thank You, God, for the food. Amen."
Yes, we had prayed at the beginning of the meal, but that was not an obstacle now to this young one: He had received what he needed and was thankful for it.
Jesus quoted Psalm 8:2a – "From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise."
At all times, it would be good if we all lived in a more simple, on-going spirit of thankfulness. We read, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good." (Psalm 107:1a). The psalmist also wrote, "I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High." (Psalm 7:17). So "let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe", said the writer to the Hebrews. (12:28b)
Yet, adults are not asked to be always simple in thanks. The apostle Paul wrote, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:6-7)
When we overflow with thankfulness, we tend to make our Lord known. As King David suggested, "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done." (1 Chronicles 16:8)
May we even enjoy pageantry in our thankfulness! Nehemiah said, "I assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of the wall. The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God; so did I. God had given them great joy. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away." (from Nehemiah 12:31,38,40,43)
Prayer: Lord, "I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you" (Psalm 35:18). May even our joy in praise and pageantry in Your name reach out to bring others to Your grace and love. Amen.