By Barbara Higdon
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
As I was preparing for this devotional thought, I looked up the term “thank offering.” Most references say simply it’s an offering of thanks, especially for the gifts received. In Psalm 107, the term is used following the passages about sick people who are sick because of their sins. When they turn to God, he heals them and they are called on to sacrifice thank offerings.
We have all sinned in ways that have sickened our souls and our bodies. I don’t think this scripture refers to disease and illness that are caused by simply being in mortal bodies, but rather afflictions that we have brought upon ourselves by foolish lifestyles–living over-committed, high-stress lives or gluttony or reckless activities, etc.
When we turn to God for healing and He answers, it’s time to give thanks. We also give thank offerings for the gift of salvation we have all received. There are so many tangible offerings we can make in return for our many blessings.
One group of Woodland members give a “thank offering” of donating and preparing a monthly meal for less fortunate men at the Rescue Mission. Another group gives a thank offering of time spent mentoring children at Larkspur Elementary. Helping to support our CBF missionaries through our Global Missions offering is an excellent way we show our thanks.
Recently, our church began taking offerings through PayPal. Our family loves this because we get airline miles by donating this way, but I’ve struggled with this more “hands-off” approach to our giving. When the offering plate goes by and I don’t put in an envelope, I feel guilty. There’s something about participating in the thank offering in our worship service that feels more reverent than clicking buttons on my computer, even though I know the money is still going to be used in the same way.
In this season of remembering what God has done for us, let’s have a response of gratitude and proclaim with the psalmist, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever,” then make thank offerings and “tell of his works with songs of joy.”