Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

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Location: Moscow, Idaho

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Let Everything That Has Breath Praise the Lord!

Wed. of Easter 5


Text: Psalm 150

The Christian’s life of praise is grounded in the mighty deeds of God. To praise is not simply to heap all manner of flattering adjectives upon the subject of our praise, but to proclaim that which is praiseworthy. So when we praise God, we are not attempting to build up His Self-esteem by telling Him how special He is to us, as if we could build up God’s Self-esteem, and as if He needs us to build up His Self-esteem. Too often Christians think the objective of their praise is to let God know what a top-notch God He is. Not so. The objective of our praise, beloved, is to remind ourselves and confess to the world what God has done for our salvation. It is to confess Jesus Christ.

We do that here in God’s sanctuary as we receive His gifts in Word and Sacrament, and respond in liturgy and prayer, in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Then we take that praise out with us from the Divine Service into the world through our various vocations. All that we do, in word and deed, we do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through Him (Col. 3:17). We do it all in the Holy Spirit, as those baptized into Christ, covered by the blood of Jesus. We do it as those upon whom God’s love has been poured out, and through whom God’s love flows, so that we love one another, and reach out in love and service to our neighbor. For if God has so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:11). Such love is praise to God, as we recount His mighty deeds in Christ Jesus.

And when recounting those mighty deeds, who can help but sing? In the music of the Church, the Word of the Lord is wed to melody and song. Our liturgy and hymns should be nothing less than vehicles of God’s Word, so that even as we sing our sacrifices of praise to God, we continue to receive from God His divine teaching and the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins in Christ. The Church’s song should not reflect our selfish musical tastes or that which is currently in fashion in the unbelieving world. The Church’s song should reflect the Word of the Lord it carries with dignity and reverence and truth. Because our praise is not about us. It is about what God has done for us in Christ. Therefore let everything that has breath praise the LORD (Ps. 150:6). Which is to say, let everything that has breath proclaim the goodness of God in sending His Son to redeem us. In the Name of Jesus (+). Amen.

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