Today is Saturday, the 15th of October, 2022, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
Peace be with you!
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Dear Father in heaven, we come into your presence as imperfect, sinful children, who do many foolish things and who are involved in much that is evil and corrupt. We come to you, Father, knowing that your fatherly love is with us through all eternity. Be gracious to us and free us from all the harm and injury we are bound to suffer in this earthly life. May the grace your kingdom brings on earth finally blot out the sins of all people, so that as your children they may rejoice because you have helped them. May your name be praised among all people. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
(Matthew 9:12-13 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
- that we are able to come into the presence of God, even as imperfect, sinful children
- for the blessings of a new day
- that, when the Lord wants to do something in or through me, the “how” is not my concern
- for “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3)
- for the many ways that we can praise the Lord; “let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150)
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. (Psalms 107:1-3 ESV)
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
(Luke 1:34 ESV)
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
(Psalms 133:1 ESV)
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. (Psalms 103:17-18 ESV)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)
Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent 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 sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! (Psalms 150:1-6 ESV)
“Everything that has breath.”
Cats and dogs have breath. Deer and hogs have breath. Lizards have breath. There are many things, other than human beings, that have breath. There are also human beings who have breath who cannot speak.
How do all of these “praise the Lord?”
As in the question by the virgin Mary, the “how” is not my concern. Now, we note that the angel answered Mary’s question, because it was, apparently, asked in innocent wonder. Unlike Zechariah, the father of John the Baptizer, whose question was more of an unbelieve scoffing. You know, kind of the way Sarai laughed when she heard she was going to have a baby when she was close to 100 years old.
The angel answered Mary, but he didn’t have to, did he? I believe that wildlife praises God naturally. The trees may not “clap their hands,” but then, again, perhaps they do, when the wind blows. Their clapping just sounds more like rustling, as their leaves hit each other in the wind. Perhaps when dogs and wolves howl at the moon, they are, in their own, natural way, praising their creator. Who can say otherwise?
Of course, it can be argued that the word translated “breath” in Psalm 150 could also be “soul.” Then many people would take animals other than humans out of the picture. However, I am not 100% convinced that animals do not have souls.
While some might see this as a “command,” I do not. It’s a song of praise, a fitting end to the book of prayers and hymns that occupies the center of our Bible (for a long time, I have felt that it is no coincidence that the Psalms are in the center). It is an encouragement, an admonishment.
So praise Him! If you have breath, praise Him! You definitely have a soul. So praise Him!
Praise Him in the morning Praise Him in the evening Praise Him when you're young and when you're old Praise Him when you're laughing Praise Him when you're grieving Praise Him in every season of the soul Join with the angels in heaven in praising Him Join with all creation on earth in praise Him "If they could see how much You're worth Your power, Your might, Your endless love Then surely they would never cease to praise You" (Adapted from Matt Redman's "Everything that Has Breath")
Father, I join with all creation on earth and all the angels in heaven in praise You. I confess that I do not praise You enough. By Your Spirit, I pray that You remind me, more often, to stop whatever I am doing and praise You, worshiping You throughout the day, no matter what I am doing. At the library, today, remind me to praise You. As I drive to and from there, remind me to praise You. When I’m playing my video games, remind me to praise You. When I’m reading my books, remind me to praise You.
I pray that the words of this Psalm will be fulfilled, and that everything that has breath, even things that do not, will praise You! Even let the rocks cry out, Father! Let them shout for joy, to the glory of Your Name.
I pray that every tribe, nation, and tongue on earth will know Your glory, know Your power, know Your might, and know Your endless love for us. Help those of us who are living in and walking in that love display it to others so that they can also experience it.
Let everything that has breath praise You, Lord!
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
O for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer's praise The glories of my God and King The triumphs of His grace! (Charles Wesley)
Grace and peace, friends.