“Let everything that breathes praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 150:6)
This week ends the five week summer Psalms series in the Narrative Lectionary, and how else could it end but with the last psalm in the Psalter? This psalm is not too complicated, just a call to praise, with the psalmist urging everyone to praise God in every way they can. But, what does “praise” actually mean? For me, praise is an action by which we proclaim how marvelous God is and all of the awesome thing God has done. We can deliver praise to God (“God, you are awesome!”) or we can praise God to other people (“God is awesome!”). We can even praise God with actions and no words!
What a wonderful day to hand out instruments, right? [You can have worshippers make their own “Praise Eggs” using this week’s free resource sheet!] Faith formation is every action, experience, or relationship that nurtures a relationship of trust with God and shapes the way we see and interact with God’s world. This definitely includes worship and worship definitely includes praise! However, sometimes we can get into the trap so that we think that praise (worship) can only happen at church, or on Sunday morning, or in a certain way. Nothing is further from the truth! Let’s look at what Psalm 150 has to say.
- Everywhere! Verse 1 tells us that we should praise God in the sanctuary and we should praise God in the open sky. We can and should praise God wherever we are! How can you challenge others to praise God wherever they are?
- For Everything! Verse 2 shows us that we are to praise God for everything that God has done and for who God is. This means we can praise God for little things and big things. Challenge yourself and others to write out a praise list or start a praise journal this week!
- With Everything! Verses 3 through 5 lists a bunch of instruments with which we can praise the Lord, as well as praising God with dance. I think that this is even broader, in that we can praise God with everything that we lay our hands upon! Bring a random assortment of objects from home and challenge children and adults to figure out how they can use them to praise God!
- Everyone! Verse 6 makes it clear that praising God is not the privilege or responsibility of only a select few, but is for everyone and every living thing. That means every single person, from the smallest to the largest and the youngest to the oldest!
Praise the Lord!
-Gregory Rawn (Publisher)
This week’s FREE resource is a simple craft activity from our Spirit & Truth: Teaching Kids the Heart of Worship curriculum, creating “praise eggs.” Spirit & Truth: Teaching Kids the Heart of Worship is a curriculum for PK-2nd and 3rd-6th grade students that explains the meaning of much of the language used in liturgical worship, also covering the meaning of many important church festivals.