Friday, November 7, 2014

Psalm 148 - Healing and Truth in Praise

Just read Psalm 148, the Psalm of total praise - let everything, anything, the whole of the universe, and all of the earth, praise the LORD.

And why?

Because God is some neurotic being that needs constant praise in order to survive?


Rather, it's a function of truthfulness and healing.

There is healing in praise, especially for human beings who are so easily centered within themselves, so easily convinced that we and our efforts are mighty and grand, that the world is beholding to us, and we can do with it as we please.

Praise opens our eyes to the glory around us - glory we didn't create, and glory given to us by the hand of the Creator, and in praise, we ponder our relationship to the world around us. It's not ours, but we're certainly its caretakers, and if caretakers, than we acknowledge that it belongs to another. And that recognition, that acknowledgement, is healthy for us, as it puts us into a mutual relationship with all creatures, great and small, and the mountains and the seas and deserts and the wind and the rain, that yearn within themselves to praise, to sing joyful and freely in their realms.

And if the whole of creation belongs to another, then we're accountable to the Other who has been kind enough to entrust creation to us, trusting enough of us to put what's precious into our hands, and we might, from time-to-time, ask ourselves: What does the Creator require of us? What does care for the creation look like? What are our daily tasks as we care for this world - from the stones beneath our feet to the creatures of the hills and to the persons beside us?

And herewith a sobering realization - how can the earth praise God when it's pillaged and spoiled by human disregard?

How can air and water praise God when they're despoiled and fouled by our irresponsible behavior, driven, as it often is, by our greed, our fear, our rapacious spirit, our drive to own and make it our possession?

Praise liberates us from the illusions of our own grandeur and power and places us into direct and responsible relationships. Praise is healing for our troubled spirits, too long drunk on our own power and presumed place. Praise lifts our spirits to another level where the wind blows free and clean. Praise is truth: we are not our own, but belong, to a faithful Creator who gives this to us all, for our caretaking and our use, a careful use that promotes the welfare and fecundity of the world.

It's good to offer praise to another human being - who knows, they may need it now and then to lift their spirits and encourage them. And we need to offer praise, to step outside of ourselves, to see beauty and goodness, and to simply say, Thank You!

There's healing for our soul in such moments of simple acknowledgement, and it's the truth that sets us free!

Thank You, O LORD. Thank You!

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