I can’t take credit for the 100th email as that goes to Roger. So, thanks to Roger for all the emails of encouragement and teaching, so let’s celebrate! Did you bake that cake?
As it’s a day of praise and thankfulness, let’s be glad that we do have those days and many of the Psalms help us to express what we feel towards God. We started with the laments, that perhaps surprisingly make up 70% of the Psalms, understanding that laments are not whining or complaining, but things we believe ought to be changed. If we believe that God is good, then we cry out to Him for justice to be done.
So worship of praise and adoration of God is an act of faith. Does God need us to say nice things about Him? Maybe it’s not actually only about Him, but enables US to receive the benefit that comes from recognising who He is and His attitude towards us. When our emotions are expressed in a positive way, we gain from the rush of excitement we feel as we worship. After all, our relationship with God has become the most important aspect of our life, so why wouldn’t we want to sing and shout about it? I mean, if football fans can get so excited, jumping up and down and hugging each other just because a leather ball goes between two posts in a field, don’t we have a reason to get excited when we have got to know the creator of the universe who has made it possible for us to get to know Him, and when we die, go to live with Him in unimaginable splendour? So yes, compose Psalms to sing about it, remembering that everything good and true in the universe comes from the Creator.
King David, who wrote many of the Psalms of praise, grew up outdoors as a shepherd, then spent years living in the rocky terrain of Israel hiding from Saul. So it came naturally to sing about the natural world that he knew so well. The psalmists praised God with sensuous abandon, “Sing for joy! Shout aloud!” Their musical instruments included cymbals, tambourines, trumpets, rams’ horns, harps and lyres. Sometimes dancing erupted. Look at Psalm 98:4 “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song”. So cheer yourself up today, look for the Psalms of praise. You could start with Psalm 100. If you have time, read Psalm 96 and Psalm 103 as well and then find your own favourites.
Then you’ll feel like praying, and when you’ve finished praising and thanking Him, you can ask Him to bless the lives of those we know at Church on the Heath, especially today:
Fidel, Christine and family in Kenya
Hannah, longing to get back to north Africa
Saw Myint in Myanmar
Frank and Val in Nazareth