Thanksgiving is Worship

It’s that time of year again.

Turkey swimming in a pool of mashed potatoes and gravy sitting beside stuffing and cranberries.  Pumpkin pie with apple pie…and since I love pie…any other kind of pie too!  Add to that, crazy kids, family (like Uncle Larry) who gets on your nerves and a bottle of Tums and you’re all set to celebrate this wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving!  I CAN’T WAIT!


But as I think about next week, I realize that thanksgiving and worship are intimately connected.

First, let’s clarify what we mean by “worship”.  Worship is not just singing as a group on the weekend.  It is that, but it’s so much more than that.  We are blind if we think singing is the same thing as doing when it comes to worship.  We are called to worship God not only with our words, our feelings, our voices, but also with our very lives.  As worship leader and author, Bob Kauflin writes,

Worship begins in our hearts but always works its way out into visible actions. (53)

Worship IS singing, but it’s also the normal parts of our lives.  And that includes Thanksgiving with Uncle Larry.

But how do we do that?

I’m glad you asked because I’ve got an idea.


Kauflin again writes, “Because worship and love are so closely connected, whatever we love most will determine what we genuinely worship.” (55)  Jesus said this when he told us that the greatest command is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart (and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength)”.  So love is more than just feelings.  Love points to what we think about, long for, pursue, work towards and talk about.  If we love God, we will

think about,

long for,


work towards

and talk about


But Jesus doesn’t end it there.  He says the second greatest command is to “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  And that includes everyone…even Uncle Larry.

Loving others, even when they’re unlovable, exalts God because it reflects his heart towards us.  It tells others we’re his children. (56)

And that is true worship.  Happy Thanksgiving.

This is the prequel to a series on worship.  Here is The Gift of Worship I and The Gift of Worship II.

Thanks to Bob Kauflin for his book, “True Worshipers:  Seeking What Matters to God“.  Much of this content the quotes came from it.  I will also be teaching a class in January from this book as we try to connect our weekend worship with the rest of our lives!



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