Bless God’s Name Forever

Sunday, November 10

11-11By Dale Luffman, Council of Twelve Apostles        

I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

—Psalm 145:1, 2, 6, 21

The Psalms have always had a certain appeal for me. The capacity of these liturgical texts to give expression to the range of human emotions—from lament to praise— has always intrigued me. One of the topics of the Psalter is the praise of God. Psalm 145 gives exquisite expression to the Psalter’s concern to give praise to the character of the God of Israel.

Psalm 145 is unique among the Psalms. In this Psalm speech bursts forth: “I will extol you . . . I will bless you . . . I will declare your greatness” [Psalm 145:1, 2, 6]. What claims my attention is that not only human speech, but all God’s works bless, honor, and adore God. In this Psalm one is ushered into speech, giving voice to an unbroken chain of continuous praise— praise throughout all time and space. Praise, according to this Psalm, is to fill the life of the worshipper. The creation becomes for the worshipper “the theatre of God’s glory” [John Calvin].  The splendor of the sound of praise acknowledges both God’s majesty and God’s marvelous works enabling me to “speak the praise of the Lord” [Psalm 145:21], joining others in worship in blessing God’s holy name. This is why gathering for worship with God’s people is important.

Language is a powerful thing. Language creates our sense and our understanding of our world. It creates our way of seeing and believing and it is why inclusive language is important!  The language of this Psalm speaks of the goodness of God and the power of God in the world.  God is God; the One worthy of praise! God’s rule, God’s reign cannot be equaled. It takes precedence over all other powers and authorities. The praise of God, in fact, is a political act. It is a political act that refuses to grant praise or allegiance to lesser rulers. The praise of God reflected in the Psalm is intended to acknowledge God’s sole, sovereign reign. It is a witness against all forms of idolatry, and an affirmation of Israel’s God through the voicing of heart-felt praise to the One who alone is worthy of such praise.

Let all gathered in worship today bless God’s name forever!

Prayer for Peace
Forever and ever, God, we will praise your name. We worship you, and you alone. We honor your presence with our attention. We respond to you with unbroken gratitude. We lament that we have not shared Christ’s peace at all times. We praise you for your free-flowing grace.

Spiritual Practice: Psalm Writing
The psalms are prayers of honesty and trust. The psalmist trusts God’s presence in times of fear and failure, joy and plenty, growth and change. Write a short psalm-prayer expressing to God the truth about your physical, emotional, and spiritual state. What prayer of praise, intercession, or petition flows from you as you consider your life and the life of God’s world?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will give voice to the praise that resides in my heart.

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