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Friday, August 19, 2016

Today’s Reading | Psalm 145

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.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
   his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall laud your works to another,
   and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
   and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
   and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
   and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
   slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
   and his compassion is over all that he has made.

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
   and all your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
   and tell of your power,
to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
   and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
   and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

The Lord is faithful in all his words,
   and gracious in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all who are falling,
   and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
   and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand,
   satisfying the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
   and kind in all his doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
   to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
   he also hears their cry, and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
   but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
   and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever. (NRSV)

Each time I read aloud this psalm I am reminded of being in Jerusalem and hearing this psalm recited throughout the day. In the Jewish tradition, this psalm is prayed in its entirety at least three times a day as a reminder of all the great works of God. After returning home, I would often read this passage aloud. The words seemed to flow off of my tongue, and by the end of the psalm I was left with a smile on my face. When we sing or speak words of praise, it is easy to be joyful. It is not always easy to be joyful when we hear and see things happening in our world that bring sadness and destruction.

As people of God, we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world, and as such we should bring joy with us. This psalm is a prayer of joy for God in a dark world. When we remember God and recognize God’s great works, we bring light that takes away the darkness. When we remember that God is merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, faithful and lifts us up, we should be joyful, for these are all things that God does. God does these things because we are God’s beloved creation, and we can take joy in that.

God, we praise you for the joy that you bring and for loving us before we could even conceive of your love. We praise you with our mouths and our bodies, each day. Help us to bring joy into the world as you do. Amen.

Written by Shelley Donaldson, Senior High and Confirmation Youth Coordinator

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