Jane’s Blog – The Witness of…Thankfulness

Years ago I used to sing a chorus that began, “I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart,” based on Psalm 100:4. Then a friend of mine saw a connection to Psalm 24:7 and composed some music to “Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, your ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” In both psalms the use of the word ‘gates’ is used for a structure that could be open or closed, doesn’t it?

The Holman Bible Dictionary says, “A gate, like a door, a wall, or a threshold, sets a boundary between that which is inside and that which is outside… Open gates allowed entrance.” I don’t know about you, but the implication of that as it pertains to these psalms fires my blood. Jesus opened the gates to his kingdom for us when he died and rose again, and he welcomes us in with outstretched arms! The psalmist in Psalm 24 invites us to open our arms for King Jesus.

“All within the gate were treated as part of the family…” the dictionary continues, and doesn’t that just perfectly describe the close-knit fellowship we have as Christ-followers? And then, in Matthew 16:18 Jesus says to Peter, “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” He was talking, of course, about the powers of death and all the forces of evil opposed to Christ and his kingdom. Those gates can’t prevail against the work Jesus has done and is still doing in us and through us. Which leads us back to the witness of thankfulness, doesn’t it?

It shouldn’t take a national holiday to remind us to be thankful. But sometimes it does. And so, this Thanksgiving, as I’m lounging on the beach, full of Thanksgiving turkey and everything that goes with it, I’m going to remember that I have a choice about whether to open and enter the gateway Jesus has provided. And my intention is to join with the seagulls in some songs of praise!

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!

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