Plenty of men and women have gone down in history with “the Great” after their names. Have any of the following shown up in your homeschool history lessons?
Cyrus, the king of ancient Persia who’s mentioned by name in the Old Testament, is now known as Cyrus the Great. In the New Testament, the king who ordered the massacre of the baby boys in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16), is ironically called Herod the Great. And who hasn’t heard of Alexander the Great? Then there was Gregory the Great, a popular pope in the sixth century. Later on, the Russian Empire would be ruled by Peter the Great, Ivan the Great, and Catherine the Great. And the list goes on, reaching even to our day. Maybe your family has watched video clips of Wayne Gretzky, the Canadian hockey player known as the Great One.
These people and other “greats” have certainly done remarkable things, but as Christians, we know that no human is really great compared to our God. To declare ourselves great is something like a tiny spark (even though it can set ablaze a huge forest as the Bible says in James 3:5) claiming to be like the sun!
One November a couple of years ago, I was reading through Psalms and noticed how often the words great, greatly, and greatness crop up in those prayers—more than two dozen times! The psalmists were obviously convinced that not only is God great but so are His name, His works, and His attributes, such as His love, mercy, power, and goodness.
So I copied down some of their exclamations of praise to the Lord and about the Lord and stitched them together into what I called “A Psalm of Greatfulness.” Then on Thanksgiving Day, when my family gathered around the table, we read it aloud as a choral reading.
If you’d like to use it this year, feel free to download “A Psalm of Greatfulness” and print out copies.
You can adapt it for the number of family members and guests who’ll be present at your Thanksgiving meal so that everyone gets to participate. (Of course, it’s also suitable to use as part of your family worship time during this season—or any other time of the year for that matter.)
Our God is great, and we are grateful!
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An editor at BJU Press until 2020, Dennis and his wife spent seventeen years homeschooling their three sons. Dennis occasionally teaches at their church and in his spare time enjoys running, playing racquetball, and interacting with their five grandchildren.
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