Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 11, 1998
2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c
|Live where the Lord puts you
Do what the Lord tells you
|127: Guide Me, O Thou Great
467: Trust and Obey
698: God of the Ages
|Praise the Lord
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
|96: Praise the Lord Who Reigns
98: To God Be the Glory
129: Give to the Winds Thy Fears
|Luke 17:11-19||Entreat the Lord||266: Heal Us, Emmanuel, Hear
351: Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
|2 Timothy 2:8-15||Remember Jesus Christ||438: Forth in Thy Name, O
530: Are Ye Able
People use so many cliches. At one time or another, most of us have heard someone say, "You've got to roll with the punches." Or how about this one--"It never hurts to ask." The Nike shoe company came up with one that caught on--"Just do it." The Lectionary scriptures this week really lend themselves to cliches. In Jeremiah, God tells His people to "set up shop" in the country of their exile. In Kings, Naaman's servants told him, "Just do it." The Psalmist is rather predictable this week--"Praise the Lord!"
Cliches make it easy to convey messages sometimes. Just as often, though, they are said and heard without much thought. That last cliche, though, has alot of meaning. The Psalmist said it over and over and over. The word "praise" appears one hundred eighty-six times in the King James Version of the Psalms--and there are only 150 Psalms to start with! Wherever you go, Praise the Lord! Whatever you do, Praise the Lord! Whenever you can, Praise the Lord! It makes you believe that he really means it.
Praise is a theme that was not lost on Charles Wesley, one of the most prolific hymn writers of all time. In this week's featured hymn, Wesley raises his praise over and over. God is praised for His deeds, for His power, for His goodness. God is praised with voices and musical instruments. God is praised by all of creation.
What inspired Wesley to write this hymn of praise? Psalm 150! Here is the text from the King James Version. Read it aloud and say it from the heart. If you are with a group of people, try changing readers at every punctuation mark.
- Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
- Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
- Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
- Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
- Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
- Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
What marvelous words--but so hard to sing them! Here is what Wesley did to help us.
|1. Praise the Lord who reigns above
and keeps his court below;
praise the holy God of love
and all his greatness show;
praise him for his noble deeds,
praise him for his matchless power;
him from whom all good proceeds
let earth and heaven adore.
|2. Celebrate th' eternal God
with harp and psaltery,
timbrels soft and cymbals loud
in this high praise agree;
praise with every tuneful string;
all the reach of heavenly art,
all the powers of music bring,
the music of the heart.
Praise the Lord! It may sound cliche, but I think that says it all.
God bless you--
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|