Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.  Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.  For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.  Psalm 100


My mother taught my sisters and I to be thankful.  Good manners mattered to her.  I look back at that now with the eyes of a parent and a grandparent and I realize that every interaction my sisters and I would have with others was also a sign of the effectiveness of my Mom’s parenting.  If we were well mannered and remembered to say “thank you” appropriately, people would see that we were “well raised” and that Mom was therefore a “good mother.”


Now you and I know that public manners can hide all sorts of ugly private stuff.  You and I know that we can smile and look someone in the eye and offer a polite “thank you” even as we think embarrassingly dark thoughts about them at the same time.  I think the name for that is “lip service.”


The other day on Facebook a note was being passed around about the practice of tipping servers when we go out to eat.  Someone had written on the bottom of a receipt to a female server, “I am not going to tip you because I don’t approve of your lifestyle.”  The server put a copy of the receipt on the internet and it went viral.  Suddenly other servers started sharing their experiences.


One wrote that the worst time to work was Sunday afternoons and the “church crowd.”  They were notoriously bad tippers.  One pastor even wrote on his bill, “I just gave God 10%, what makes you think that you deserve 18%?


I can’t tell you how much things like that embarrass and anger me.  But, sadly, it doesn’t really surprise me.


So here’s the message for this morning:  The Bible invitess us to give thanks to God which means, since all of life is a gift from God, being thankful as well for all of life.  But this is more than good manners, it is more than lip service, it is more than a public screen hiding darker private realities.  It is a reflection of God’s love – God’s love bouncing off of us and back into the world, even into the darkest places.


Be thankful.  And be a good tipper. 


Let us pray:  Thank you, Lord, for all your good gifts.  For daily bread.  For life.  For the love of family and friends.  For meaningful work.  For the invitation to walk in the fullness of life.  For the opportunities to reflect your love into the lives of others, and to see your love coming to us through others as well.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


One Response to “Psalm 100”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I live in a different part of the country but my waitress friend has shared this sentiment about the church crowd: They come in with halos but as soon as their butts hit the chair the horns come out,

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