“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord”
One of the Psalms set for this morning is the last Psalm in the book- Psalm 150. It is a sort of triumphant “final chord” in the symphony of praise, lament, joy and longing that runs through the whole of the collection of these songs which were written thousands of years ago as a way of expressing the human heart’s yearning in its reaching out to God.
And the last phrase in the last psalm is this “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Alleluia!”
We don’t always find it easy to offer praise. When we are sad, when the people we love are unwell or in trouble, when the future feels uncertain. And yet, paradoxically, the more we give thanks for God’s blessings, the more we acknowledge God’s goodness, the more our hearts will fill with thankfulness and praise.
At the moment much of what we hear is upsetting and confusing, much of what we experience feels alien and unwelcome. In those circumstances, finding the little nuggets of joy and delight in our day, and giving thanks for them, becomes even more important
But praise is about more than thanks for particular “things”- praise is about being thankful because of God’s character, because of what the bible calls “the mighty acts of God” – because, whatever the future holds, we know what God has already done, in creating us redeeming us, loving us, sharing our lives and transforming our weaknesses.
I have an icon on my desk- it is called “Christ Pantocrator”. Pantocrator means “Lord of all”, and this icon reminds me that, whatever may be happening, Christ Jesus is Lord. There is mercy, peace, forgiveness and eternal life for all who come to find rest in Him. What a wonderful truth to be able to give thanks for.
The last word- for any Christian- is praise. Because the last word is God’s goodness, mercy and love. I pray that you may know Christ’s peace and presence today.