"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." Psalms 100:4-5 NRSV
Have you ever noticed how something special happens when you enter a place of worship? There may not even be anyone else in the sanctuary, but we experience a sense of reverence, peace, and holiness when we enter. We come through the gates prepared to worship God.
While something exceptional happens in church -- it is, after all, where we gather as one body to worship -- the feeling of God's presence is available everywhere. The gates are not physical but metaphorical; it’s not a place but a condition of readiness. In this here and now, with open hearts is as good a place as any to give God our thanks. To do otherwise, to not express our thanks individually, is to confine God into a box of time and place; Sunday mornings for one hour. And we have good reason to praise Him; for his goodness, his continual love, and his faithfulness.
God, we thank you for your goodness, continual love, and faithfulness. We know, "It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you." We thank you for the salvation offered through Jesus Christ, the baptism of forgiveness, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. We confess we do not praise you as we should, please forgive us. Amen.