Our scripture this morning is Psalm 148.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed. Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and women alike, old and young together! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord!

The Psalms are the songbook of scripture, bringing our praise and our prayers to the Lord. This psalm from the New Revised Standard Version uses the word “praise” twelve times in fourteen verses. History tells us these were sung as part of worship, especially during temple services.

When we lift our voices together, we are all strengthened and encouraged to share the joy of the Lord with the world. I know some who say “I can’t sing” but it’s not about beautiful music – the song of a lark and the raucous call of a crow are both pleasing to God. It’s about our connection to Him and offering our thanks and praise.

A director once told me “God asks us to make a “joyful noise” (Psalm 100), and that’s all that matters.” Don’t be afraid to lift your voice to God for fear of “what others will say” – it’s not about them, it’s between you and God. Jesus told us “if they are silent, the very stones would cry out” (Luke 19:40). All creation sings to the Lord, and you are a beloved part of that heavenly choir.

Loving Lord, we are grateful for Your many gifts to us and we bring our thanks and praise. Let us go into Your world with joy and tell everyone of Your love. Amen.

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