Key Verses: 1-2, 7-8 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! Praise the Lord from the earth, myou sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Psalm 148 calls everyone and everything in creation to praise the Lord: sun, moon and stars, mountains and fruit trees, wild animals, birds and sea monsters, fire and hail, snow and frost, kings and all people, old and young together. The Psalmist says: let them all praise the Lord! It’s one of the more musical and poetic hymns to read aloud, and it sounds like a fabulous idea: Praise the Lord!
Safely at home in my warm house this week I watched the snow fall and I praised the Lord. It covered the dead grass in my yard with a pristine beauty. We pulled out the sled and the hot chocolate and lit a fire. A snow day! Praise the Lord! I went to work and came home to dripping boots and dirty dishes and siblings snapping, and my praise for a snow day soured a little. Also, I suspect it was not so easy to praise the Lord for those stuck on the icy highway in Atlanta overnight, or for those who have no heat, or no home.
There are plenty of other Psalms that offer up lament, and cries to the Lord about desolation and despair. And there are times lament is truly appropriate, when there are hungry and homeless neighbors out in the cold. Perhaps the challenge of this Psalm is how to praise the Lord when the beautiful snow has melted to dirty slush, and when lament seems more appropriate. Perhaps the praise of the Lord pushes us out of our warm houses into a cold world where we praise the Lord not just with our lips but also with our actions. Perhaps our praise of the Lord means we serve in God’s name, until everyone else can truly praise the Lord as well.
God of all creation, I praise you. Rejoicing in all your blessings and in the wonders of the world you created, I am mindful that others find it difficult to praise. Show me where my praise of you must turn from words into action. I pray in the name of Christ Jesus the Lord, Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.
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