Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

         John Newton’s famous hymn “Amazing Grace” concluded with a verse added on that reminds us that after 10,000 years of eternity we will still have eternity to sing God’s praise.  The book of Psalms in the Bible concludes with Psalm 150 talking about all the places and all the ways we can praise the Lord.  Easter season concludes this week and Sunday we enter Pentecost.  Yesterday a friend called from the other side of the States.  Her husband is declining with Alzheimer’s and mine is declining with Parkinson’s disease.  In our 20s we taught junior high together.  They came to Kenya to see us.  We have kept in touch.  Now we cry together.  At one point she said that it helped her to remember, “joy is a choice.”

         This week we have looked at praise.  John Newton praises God for saving him when he realized in the midst of a storm how truly lost he was.  He did not die but lived to fight against slavery in England.  The Apostle Paul praised God when God did not heal him from the illness that plagued him but gave him the strength of grace.  Yesterday we thought about praise just by the mere truth that we have a God who comes to us and understands our situations and that is cause for praise at all times.  Today we conclude by realizing that we can praise at any time, whether prayers are answered yes, no, or wait, and in any place, and in a multitude of ways.  We do have some agency in our responses.  I believe it is ok to cry.  Jesus cried over Lazarus’ death.  It is ok to lament over the evil in our world.  But ultimately we can choose praise and hope for we know God has a plan he is working out.  Some day we will have praised 10,000 years and still have eternity to praise more.  The Lord is Risen! He is alive and cares. Thank you Lord!

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright, shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun

Amazing Grace, by John Newton verse 6

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