Friday, May 5, 2017

Psalm 150, A Paraphrase

"Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6)

At the last Church Council meeting, I  shared the following paraphrase of Psalm 150 that I wrote as a response to comments I've received over the last year or so.  I share them with you here for your own personal inspiration and challenge to remind us all of what we need to be focusing upon (the praise of God)...

"Praise God at LaGrange First UMC! 
Praise God with trumpet, handbells and pipe organ!
   Praise Him with electric guitar, bass and keyboard!
Praise God with reverence and awe that goes beyond words
   Praise Him with clapping, dancing, and bodies that move a beat!
Praise God while sitting in our pews, standing in our row, or kneeling at the altar.
Praise God if you've been the victim of someone else's selfishness, prejudice, pride, 
    and oppression.
Praise Him even when you wake up and realize that you're the one who's been 
    selfish, prideful and doing the oppressing!
Praise God through traditional affirmations of faith and formal liturgy, 
But praise Him also through informal ritual and spontaneous liturgy.
Praise God in English, Korean, Spanish, and any other human language.
    Praise Him through silence and meditation.
Praise God with the beauty of tradition and ritual at contemporary services.
But praise Him also with the use of video clips and multi-media at traditional  
     services... on Easter Sunday morning... at the beginning of the service... speaking 
     an emotional language that younger adults connect to in a way that traditional 
     liturgy alone does not always do!
Praise God with preaching that's done from the pulpit, from the lectern, from the
    middle of the chancel area, or even from the middle of the Sanctuary!
Praise God through the reading of His Holy word from a scroll, from a paperbound 
    book, or from an iPad!
Praise God at 8:45, 9:00 & 11am on Sunday morning in the Sanctuary, Chapel, and 
     Methodist Ministries Center. 
But praise Him also on Saturday night at a local pub, Wednesday night on the campus 
    of LaGrange College, 10am Sundays at West Point Lake during the summer, and 
     any other time and place where "two or more" of His people are gathered in His name.
Praise God when you've got your life together and everything is right with the world.
But praise Him also when your heart is breaking, your life is falling apart, and you're
    not sure if you can make it another day.
Whoever you are, however you experience faith, in whatever spiritual shape you find 
    yourself, if you have breath in you, then praise the Lord!
People of LaGrange First UMC... Praise the Lord!"

Always remember that God loves you and I do, too!

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