2 The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Yes! Let us sing to the Lord in praise of his goodness! So often when we pray it is to ask for something. Sometimes, we remember to say thank you and once in a while we ask forgiveness for our sins, but how often do we just give praise to God?
This is only one of the many psalms that are purely praise for all that God has done for us. We can be moved to praise God when we see a beautiful sunrise or sunset or a rainbow after a storm, but what about praising God for the sheer joy of knowing that God is, or that we are saved? Why can’t we think of praising God without being motivated by an outside experience or event?
The psalm continues asking all of creation to praise God with songs of joy and gladness. Flowers bloom, birds sing, and yet our churches are often filled with somber faces and a great deal of watch-checking! Nature did not need salvation, the birds and the animals did not need salvation, we needed to be saved, and yet, it is we humans who lack the joyful spontaneity of nature.
The decline in church attendance is a concern to many of the church leaders in my community – and all are suffering, not just one of two denominations. Several years ago, one of the pastors said how happy he was that he had enough children for a Christmas pageant – 10! Another said that his congregation had shrunk to 35, and yet another, 50.
I’d like to think that those not in churches, those who call themselves spiritual but not religious, truly do take the time to praise God in their daily lives. I hope no one reading this is offended, but I believe that belonging to a community that supports our Christian beliefs and values makes it easier to remember all the blessings God has given us, and this remembrance calls us to words of praise and gratitude.
Lord, let us praise you each and every day for the beauty of creation, for the gift of salvation, for all the love you have poured out for us. Amen.