Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Psalm 150 calls all people, everywhere, at all times, with whatever means they have available, to praise the Lord. This is a challenge. It’s more easily said than done. What do we do if we aren’t sure who, specifically, the LORD is? We’d better find out. This is no call to praise that recognizes whatever god we might be feeling inside us. It isn’t the burning in the bosom. It isn’t the blind watchmaker. It isn’t the man upstairs, who we never see and don’t really know. It’s the very specific triune God described in the Bible. He’s clear about his identity. So first and foremost, we need to be clear about the person whom we worship. It’s the Lord God, none other.
What’s an appropriate way of approaching this God? How are we going to do it? Again, throughout the Scriptures, we are shown, over and over, that the Lord has particular means by which we approach him. In the Old Testament period he gave his people meals such as sacrifices and offerings. He gave them songs to sing, sacred texts to recite, and the people of Israel regularly learned prayers which would bring glory and honor to God in very specific ways. In the New Testament we are told that Jesus, God the Son, is to be approached as the Mediator between God and man. We approach him through faith in his resurrection for us. And we approach him in the means of grace he has appointed, Word and Sacrament. Songs, prayers, correct doctrine always required.
What next? No matter what means we have available to us, in a way consistent with God’s Word, we proclaim the praises of God. What’s that going to look like in our workplace? Is the Christian prohibited from having gainful employment because the stock exchange doesn’t wait for him to prostrate himself on the floor before the Lord? Does the Christian chef sing the praises of God to everyone while cooking? Maybe, but maybe he cooks as well as he can to bring glory to God and to remember that God likes people to be fed with good food. What about the Christian writer, reporter, or radio journalist? God values accurate reports of important information phrased in artful and charitable ways. Is this a way of bringing praise to God? It certainly is.
While we may have different seasons of appropriate activity, all of it can bring praise to the true God of all. That’s what we are called to. May it reflect well on the person and work of God in Christ.
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