Sunday, January 23, 2011

Two Thanksgivings

My readers know that one purpose of this blog is making unexpected parallels between Anglican liturgy and Baptist or other low-Protestant songs, prayer, etc.

Here is one. From the Book of Common Prayer, the General Thanksgiving:

Almighty God, father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks, for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life, but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to thy service and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end, Amen.

The other, from "Jesus, We Just Want to Thank You" by the Cathedrals--the prayer in the middle spoken by the late George Younce.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for music and singing, and for giving us so much to sing about. Thank you for simple things: the sun coming up in the morning, rain when the ground is dry, for sleep when our bodies are tired, and a good meal when we’re hungry. Thank you we can feel things—that we can laugh and cry. Thank you for the good times, but thanks for the hard times too, that keep us depending on you. Thank you for homes and children, and for giving us the chance to know what it’s like to be loved. But most of all, thanks for giving us your Son. Help us to love like that. Lord, we just want to thank you. Thank you for being so good.

There must be something natural about that progression--"Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life, but most of all, for your inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ." Christians from very different traditions naturally gravitate to it, for obvious reasons. On the one hand, we don't want to be ungrateful for the earthly blessings. "All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee." "We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into His gates with singing, and into His courts with praise." On the other hand, we want to tell Our Lord that His death was the most important blessing, the blessing above all blessings.

HT: Eldest Daughter


William Luse said...

Hat tip to eldest daughter? She's the one who saw the parallel?

Lydia McGrew said...

Yes. Told me I should put it in a blog post. I can't remember if I'd heard the song and prayer by the Cathedrals myself before she brought it to my attention, but she came to me spontaneously with the suggestion.

Gina Danaher said...

It's so funny. I just read another blog by a woman and her subject for today was thankfulness. I told her that her post was a nice topper for my day. This is now the icing on the cake. Thank you, Lydia. And thank your daughter.

William Luse said...

She's about college age now?

Lydia McGrew said...

Thanks, Gina.

Yep, Bill. A remarkable person.