Sunrise is an event that calls forth solemn music in the very depths of our nature, as if one’s whole being had to attune itself to the cosmos and praise God for the new day, praise him in the name of all the creatures that ever were or ever will be. I look at the rising sun and feel that now upon me falls the responsibility of seeing what all my ancestors have seen, in the Stone Age and even before it, praising God before me. Whether or not they praised him then, for themselves, they must praise him now in me. When the sun rises each one of us is summoned by the living and the dead to praise God.
From: Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
Praise differs from thanksgiving, which is offered for a specific reason or a particular gift. Praise does not depend on any single deed or gift of God. It is a prayer, chorus, or hymn directed to God out of endless wonder from our endless discovery of who God is.
Praise goes beyond thanksgiving to express our amazement at God’s concern for us that exceeds our expectation, merit, or imagination. Thus, praising God begins in surprise. God provides more. God is more than we had hoped or dared to imagine.
From: P. Joel Snider, The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions, reading for June 3, 2015, p 166
(Check Discipleswalk.org for a some additional thoughts.)
Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God’s own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.
For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.
United Methodist Hymnal, 1989; Author: Henry Alford
In Thanksgiving, Let Us Praise Him
From the first bright light of morning
To the last warm glow of dusk;
Every breath we take is sacred,
For it is God’s gift to us.
In thanksgiving, let us praise Him;
In thanksgiving let us sing
Songs of praise and adoration
To our gracious Lord and King.
In the season of our plenty,
In the season of our need;
We will find His grace sufficient,
We will find His love complete.
Safe within His hand that guides us,
Hidden in His healing wings;
Day by day His love provides us
Every good and perfect thing.
Source: Celebration Hymnal #796