Students sitting outside Bockman
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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

How do we praise? The psalms seem to make it clear that one of the key ways that we praise is through song. Why do we praise? Because God saves us.

Music was alive in my home during my first five years of life. My dad was an exceptional pianist. I sat down beside him frequently on the piano bench. But then my parents divorced, and it could be said that the music died. Decades later, my soul friend and I were doing a Bible study together. In The Song of the Seed by Macrina Wiederkehr we read this: "Help me to learn the art of singing in the midst of my sorrows. Teach me to sing my way out of the tomb. Is that the secret of resurrection? Must we all learn how to come out of the tomb singing?" Psalm 146 seems to sing its way out of tombs of being fatherless and oppressed, imprisoned and hungry.

This phrase—singing our way out of the tomb--inspired me to begin taking voice lessons from a brilliant Christian vocalist. Voice lessons for me are a mix of vocal technique, spiritual direction and therapy. All of this ultimately leads to praise. Perhaps this week you might take a moment to sing your way out of the dark and give thanks that God saves us from the tomb.

Dear God, thank you for the spoken word as well as the sung word. May my voice rise in song to give you praise—and may that singing lead to life. Amen.

Tim and Chamie Delkeskamp
Ascension Lutheran, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Master of Divinity , 1998

Psalm 146 (NRSV)

1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!


This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.